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True Stories
Topic TSCD578

The artiste who can claim the highest number of nominations for the BBC2 Folk Awards (23 in 11 years for those statisticians amongst you)  strides high through his peers again with a perfect follow up to the critically acclaimed Prodigal Son. Who said you couldn’t follow that? Come to think of it, I may have said something similar myself. Oops, sorry Martin. This one’s as good, if not better in some respects. Anybody that can get Consett, County Durham into a song without making a political point has achieved a great deal – and the song in question, Home Again, is a poignant introspective celebration of his geographical roots that would warm the coldest of hearts.

There’s a cracking version of Sir Patrick Spens, although his attempt to make ‘half ower’ rhyme with ‘Aberdour’ is a bit cringeworthy (sorry again Martin – it actually works with a Fife accent, believe me!).  An Englishman Abroad describes a character in one of my favourite places (Decatur Street in New Orleans [famously home to the Decatur Gater restaurant, the French Market and the best Hard Rock breakfast in the US]). The song could have been written for Randy Newman (and if he’s not offered it, I’ll ask to nick it myself).

The assembled multitude includes Andy Cutting, also at the top of his game, Danny Thompson and Jon Boden, who bring oodles of class into the equation.

I’ll even forgive his revisit of Stagolee, which has been done to a hundred deaths over the years. This is just sublime.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 85 of The Living Tradition magazine.