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PETE SCOTT - Songs To Sing & Jokes To Tell

PETE SCOTT - Songs To Sing & Jokes To Tell
Private Label

Pete Scott has been in or around the folk scene for many years. His latest CD, as the Press Release quite correctly claims, really does “feature his trademark mixture of the comic and the poignant.”

It gets off to a good start with Spam - not the Python variety, but that irritating stuff which pops up when you least expect it - and Scott’s irritation with the e-world is also wittily explored in the second track, My iPad Has Tuned In To Hank Williams. However, the listener is soon brought down to earth with songs dealing with issues such as child labour, a fatal RTA and the sad death of an elderly man (Billy Gibson’s Things - my favourite track). Fortunately, not too many tissues will be needed, as lighter tracks regularly lift the mood.

It’s not easy to put Pete Scott’s music into a neat pigeon-hole. Acoustic it certainly is, and contemporary folk a lot of the time, but there are also country influences and a couple of cheerful ragtime arrangements.

I do feel I have to take issue with the title of this CD. Good as some of the songs are, I suspect that not many will finish up in others’ repertoires, for two reasons: firstly, Pete Scott’s delivery is not always easy to assimilate, and, secondly, not all will warm to his habit of splitting lines and words to achieve rhymes. As for the Jokes To Tell, well, there simply aren’t any, although there are plenty of humorous moments in some of the songs.

Pete Scott is a witty and insightful singer/songwriter, but I think I prefer the late Jake Thackray.

Nigel Harbron

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This album was reviewed in Issue 100 of The Living Tradition magazine.