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GAWKEY - Sing An Honest Song

GAWKEY - Sing An Honest Song
Private Label

I'm not the first to say it, but it's a great name for this album. Two guys indeed playing a few honest songs and tunes - Matthew Morton (songwriter and multi-instrumentalist) on vocals and guitar and Nigel Walker (all-round fiddler since 1977, formerly of Brackley Morris) on fiddle. I'm quite sure they used no auto-tune here and they have definitely not added any extra digital bits or dubs, so they manage a sweet, ‘in your living room’ sound.

Watching The River Flow is a sweet summery song and Matt really sounds boisterously in love. I like the fiddle on this song and the balance between the fiddling and singing is perfect. The slow tunes played by Nigel, like the Coilsfield House set and the other fiddle bits in songs are really beautiful.

Alright, maybe it's a bit rough round the edges sometimes, like on the end of As A Thoiseach. The singing overall is sweet and honest, but could do with some more development. And some of really nice songs like Henry O’Brien and The Black Rose Of Summer suffer a bit from slight vocal instability, but I think some of that roughness may be due to their festival tours of duty. I do admire Matt and Nigel for not drafting in piles of extra musicians for the recording and so being honest about what they sound like in real life. They are just like two adorable English poets that could be playing right there on my tiny sofa.

Annemarie de Bie

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