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PETE MORTON - A Golden Thread 

PETE MORTON - A Golden Thread 
Further Records FURTHER003 

I’ve always regarded Pete as one of the true cornerstones of contemporary folk songwriting; he’s one of the most consistently persuasive too, not least in his uncompromisingly right-on (but not “preachy”) and often refreshingly humorous espousal of today’s “big issues” that goes hand in hand with his firm grasp of folk tradition.

A Golden Thread’s title derives from the Pete Seeger song which Pete M here adapts for his lead track, setting out his stall with humanity and positivism, qualities which can be seen as that very thread binding the disc’s eight new self-penned songs. Characterised by a deceptive, often cumulative power, these deal honestly, directly and companionably with vital global themes such as migration (Immigrant Child), gun-running (the ghostly anthem Yemeni Moon), injustice (The Grenfell Carol) and poverty (the skip-we-gaily canter of Universal Basic Income). Through I Live Your Love Pete shows his understanding of the thread of love forming his personal connection with ancestral wisdom, while Emily Dickinson Revisited brings a tender upgrade to Pete’s touching song of infatuated love that first appeared on 2005’s Flying An Unknown Flag). Latter-day travelogue Metropolitan Safari provides light relief before the album’s second revisit, the traditional “job-hunting song” The Farmer’s Boy (the first being Pete’s unusual – and delectably – driven take on Barb’ry Allen).

Finally, high marks for the full and intelligent arrangements in which Pete’s songs are clothed, featuring the talents of Sarah Matthews, Alice Jones, Matt Quinn, George Sansome, Justin Twigg, Mark Woolley, and vocal cameos by Jude Rees, Julie Wigley and the Peace Through Folk Choir.

Brilliantly approachable and shot through with all-encompassing humanity – that’s A Golden Thread.

David Kidman


This review appeared in Issue 134 of The Living Tradition magazine