Material: The Trials of Cato is a trio belting out, what sounds like, traditional folk music but with a modern twist. Every track is a journey into your mind as the tunes take you to lands far and near in traditional Welsh fashion. Banjo, mandolin and acoustic guitar are the main fare this evening, where Williams picks up bass and bass drum duties with his guitar and creates a splendid backdrop on which the tunes sit. That left Jones and Bolton to wander around, giving you superb melodies of banjo, mandolin and vocals.
Musicianship: Extremely good musicianship all around. Bolton and Jones really play well off each other and together, and they use Williams as a springboard to launch their beautiful melodies and vocals. Williams is a solid musician and keeps the beats steady and stable as the songs progress ever so smoothly. Each is well written and you can tell that great care goes into each song to bring out the most out of the lyrics.
Performance: Great. The music spoke for itself as the instruments brought everything to life with each and every stroke of the strings and beat of the drum. All three––Jones, Bolton and Williams––are great storytellers, each telling tales of their homeland, how the songs came to be and the direction the band is headed.
Summary: This is a band that hit with their debut album, Hide and Hair, and won Best Folk Album of 2019 at the BBC Radio Folk Awards. Now they’re at it again with another exceptional album, Gog Magog, which likely will not disappoint, either. Currently on a tour that includes various U.S. dates, including SXSW (South By South West) and a quick stop at The Hotel Café, the Trials Of Cato are bringing you some of the best in contemporary folk and Welsh tunes the music community has heard in a while. If you like bluegrass-y, Welsh, Irish-y folk music, look no further, The Trials of Cato have arrived. – Pierce Brochetti
Contact: [email protected]
Players: Robin Jones, vocals, banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, percussion; Polly Bolton, vocals, bouzouki,
mandolin, synthesizer; Tomos Williams, backup vocals, guitar, keyboard, percussion.
Photo by: Susan Moll