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JON BODEN - Last Mile Home 

JON BODEN - Last Mile Home 
Hudson Records HUD022CD 

Completing his trilogy of climate change themed albums, this suite of songs guides the listener along a cross country journey from Sheffield to Mablethorpe. The pastoral ambiance provided by the songs and acoustic accompaniments is further accentuated by field recordings on two wax cylinder machines (Edith and Eric) – courtesy of Paul Morris. Mostly bird song, for example on Old Straight Track and Under The Bough, these recordings complement the voices and instruments subtly and tastefully – and higher fidelity than one would expect from antique technology (Edison “Standard” Model B Phonographs). Those lucky enough to have the requisite machine, can indeed take ownership of a limited-edition wax cylinder single of the title song – how ethnic is that!

This is a strong collection of songs, showcasing Boden’s multi-instrumental capabilities, with the addition of Mary Hampton’s vocals and the Remnant Strings. Particular favourites of mine include the delicate The Path Is Winding and the title song that together in sequence bring this journey to its coastal conclusion. Jon Boden is always able to conjure up particular moods by his thoughtful words and solid instrumentation – and this really is mood music that draws you in and takes you on a musical excursion. Probably worth recommending listening to all three albums of this trilogy in sequence to get the full ambient effect (Songs From The Floodplain and Afterglow being the first two of the series). This still works well as a standalone piece of work also. Top notch.

Grem Devlin


This review appeared in Issue 139 of The Living Tradition magazine