Link to Living Tradition Homepage





KENNY SPEIRS - New Dawn Breaking 

KENNY SPEIRS - New Dawn Breaking 
Brigside Music BS162 

Kenny’s latest solo offering continues in his own personal tradition of eminently accessible and melodious folk music from the Scottish Borders. He’s a masterful singer and guitarist, with an expanding catalogue of classy self-penned songs replete with humanity and generosity of spirit. Kenny’s music certainly provides an oasis of reassurance in these troubled times, while unafraid to address current issues in lyrics of genial sensitivity and simple expressiveness.

The album follows on nicely from Kenny’s previous (exclusively self-penned) collection, Sleepwalking; here the only exceptions are the increasingly popular ballad It’s Braw Sailin’ On The Sea (by James Greig) and a fresh treatment of the well-loved Norlan’ Wind (Jim Reed’s setting of the Violet Jacob text, which Kenny had previously covered on his North Wind Blowing set). The remaining tracks range from the opening “cautionary tale” Corrievreckan, centred around the notorious whirlpool just north of the Isle of Jura, to the stirring finale of Another Scotland; co-written with fellow-guitarist John Rafferty, this is a proud toast that celebrates a country at a crossroads in its history. Nestling comfortably in between we find the questioning, gently puzzled commentary I Just Don’t Know, a modest pair of relationship-themed songs (Around Again, Candlelight), and two lovely instrumental pieces (Iona, Minto Hill). Throughout, Kenny has surrounded himself with top-drawer musicianship courtesy of Tom Roseburgh, Shona Mooney and John Rafferty, with a cameo from piper David Sanderson on the finale.

New Dawn Breaking is a thoroughly pleasing collection that’s up there with Kenny’s best.

David Kidman


This review appeared in Issue 135 of The Living Tradition magazine