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Penny Black

Jubilee Riots

CD Baby 2015

Review by David Bowling


Enter The Haggis was a Celtic based music band who incorporated an improvisational style into their approach. The band now has a new name and new style. Their new moniker is Jubilee Riots and they play a multi-layered fusion of blues, rock, and even a little gospel.

In addition to their changes, they took a very unique approach in putting together their new album titled Penny Black. They assembled 500 fan letters and used them as the basic for their lyrics. They then encapsulated the stories within catchy and multi-layered music. It all adds up to energetic and danceable music with personal stories.

The five band members combine a lot of instruments into their sound. Guitars, keyboards, synthesizer, percussion, trumpet, harmonica, banjo, mandolin, and bass all join together to create a variety of textures.

“Trying Times” and “Song Plays On” find the band fusing blues and rock. “Cut The Lights” is very close to a pure pop song with a number of melodies coming together. “Rapture” finds them moving in a gospel direction.

It is admirable when an established band tries something different. Penny Black is a wonderful exploration of new style and dimensions.

Rating: ***1/2