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ALEX HODGSON - The Brig Tae Nae Where

ALEX HODGSON - The Brig Tae Nae Where
Greentrax Recordings CDTRAX382

The second Greentrax album from AH has been four years in gestation, but it has been well worth the wait. Ten original compositions (one of which is reprised twice) along with Ewan MacColl’s Shoals O’ Herrin’ and Burns’ My Luv’ Is Like A Red Red Rose, mostly delivered with just his own guitar accompaniment – or one or two additional contributions, most significantly from Kenny Hutchison on keyboards. Must be something about the Prestonpans twang, but I can close my eyes and imagine Davy Steele multiple times – none more so than on the Burns’ song. The title track, which refers to a bridge in Belhaven Bay (Dunbar) which appears to be emerging from the water when the tide’s in, is a delightful re-imagining of childhood days on the shore. I was astounded to find a lovely song about the mining village where I was born (Valleyfield) – I didn’t know anyone cared enough…

Other songs deal with the return of the trams to Edinburgh, the Battle of Pinkie, fishing and the spooky Mary Kings Close (Edinburgh again). I know it’s all localised material, but written with care and lovingly produced by the afore-mentioned Kenny Hutchison. The glue which binds all this is The Herring Road, which describes the inland route by which the fishwives carried their fish down to the Borders. A Summer Tale also harks back to childhood. Jam packed with nostalgia this yin… Great songs, and brilliantly packaged with extensive notes and illustrations – including Alex Hodgson’s own wonderful illustration of the bridge which features on the cover.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 104 of The Living Tradition magazine.