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TOM McCONVILLE - Back To Scotswood

TOM McCONVILLE - Back To Scotswood
Boomchang Records BCCD004

Tom McConville is a real genius, consistently producing music of the highest quality over more years than he probably wants to remember. Back To Scotswood is a fairly stripped back CD, dedicated to musicians met during his formative days in his family pub on Scotswood Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

I think his version of The Parting Glass is almost perfect, just Tom’s voice and Leonard Brown’s wonderfully sympathetic piano. A real malt whiskey moment! One Last Smile, written by another genius, Allan Taylor, isn’t half bad either. In fact there isn’t a bad track on here. From start to finish it has that feel good factor. And all the way, Tom’s fiddle playing is a bit of a masterclass, lots of styles, all excellently played, up there with the best.

What sets this apart from a lot of other good music is often not what he plays, but the sense of timing and those ‘pauses’ which seem so instinctive. It’s easy to put loads in, but not so easy to produce something sounding so naturally simple. The production, sleeve notes and art work all contribute to what I consider to be one of the albums of the year.

One of the dedications Tom writes is to all those who have made his life so happy. I’d like to echo that by saying thanks to Tom for all those he has made happy through his wonderful music.

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 105 of The Living Tradition magazine.