Link to Living Tradition Homepage





Sleeve not available
DICK MILES AND FRIENDS 'Around The Harbour Town' Brewhouse Music BHCD20037

Emerging in the 70s from roots in his native Suffolk folk scene but living in County Cork now for many years, Dick's name should be familiar to most readers as a singer of traditional songs plus some own-writes and as a skilled Wheatstone English concertina player. Increasingly his is a familiar name at Maritime festivals and his expertise and experience with salt sea matters is reflected in this collection, with sub-title..'and other songs of shore and home.'

The album features material from two previous vinyl releases and adds some newer recordings to present a rounded profile of an accomplished singer and a talented musician, though with some of this material dating back I'd imagine, over 20 years, this appears to be a glance over the shoulder rather than a stare at the horizon. With a sound so slight on some tracks, and Miles' somewhat nasal vocal style, it's journeyman stuff though there's no doubting the commitment. Organic - yes, but retro too. These days Dick's making far more challenging music and to a certain extent has re-invented himself, by a close involvement with the burgeoning nautical scene.

More workmanlike than innovative then, - among notable exceptions are the title track which benefits from Richard Grainger's guitar with harmony vocals and the whimsy of 'On My Little Concertina.'

Elsewhere 'Sailortown' has a cheery conviction and 'Bogie's Bonny Belle' is imbued with the resigned acceptance of injustice that the song demands and deserves. If you wait long enough everything becomes fashionable again they say, and this timebound CD is a pleasant listen, tinged with nostalgic warmth but as cutting edges go, it's butter knife rather than scalpel.

Clive Pownceby

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 58 of The Living Tradition magazine.