Link to Living Tradition Homepage





Sleeve not available
JOHN WRIGHT "A Few Short Lines" Greentrax Recordings CDTRAX 194

Okay, cards on the table time right away: John Wright on this album demonstrates superbly that the voice is one of the finest instruments available to mankind.

The John Wright Band has mushroomed in popularity over the past few years and John himself has established a reputation for adapting seemingly over-exposed songs and giving them that bit extra. Here he's taken what might be described as traditional, or traditional-sounding, chestnuts such as 'Raglan Road', 'Hills of Ardmorn', 'Carrickfergus' and 'Black is the Colour' and breathed new life into them, showing that a good song never dies.

The album is produced and engineered by the multi-talented Steve Lawrence, who also chips in on various stringed instruments, whistle and small pipes and there's additional backing from Wendy Weatherby on cello, Fraser Speirs on moothie and Angus Lyon on piano. Excellent though they are, this is very much a vocal album and is bound to have a knock-on effect by getting club floor-spot singers nationwide reinstalling these songs to their own repertoires. Indeed, the very helpful people at Greentrax provide us with all the words in the sleeve notes.

There's a fine balance of songs but standouts for this reviewer are Samuel Lover's Irish ballad 'Ned of the Hill', and 'Starry Night' learned from the version by the uncredited Sean Tyrrell on a Davy Spillane recording.

This is an excellent album and proves in addition that somewhere in the tidal wave of new instrumental releases there's still room for a wee boat carrying good songs well sung.

Alan McIntosh Brown

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 40 of The Living Tradition magazine.