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TONY JENKINSON - Donít Turn Around

TONY JENKINSON - Donít Turn Around
Private Label

When I transplanted myself to Oswaldtwistle in the early 1970s, I became aware of Tony and his music in the Accrington/Blackburn area, where he was doing floor spots at all the local folk clubs. His material encompassed soft rock, blues and contemporary folk, but I don’t recall ever hearing any of his own compositions at that time.

Fast forward to 2018 and the release of his 12 track CD, Don’t Turn Around, recorded by Seamus Heffernan at Shamrock Studios. Time and space prevent me from reviewing all the songs on this CD, and they all deserve a mention. Instead, I shall concentrate on my personal favourites.

Jam Tomorrow deals with false promises inflicted on the population by incompetent politicians, who maintain that all will be well in this Disunited Kingdom of ours after austerity has worked its magic and Brexit has us rolling in money. I would love to hear this one performed at a Labour Party Conference.

Sold It Off - it would be interesting to watch the reaction if this was played over the public address systems in our railway stations. Tony is still adding verses to this one, as privatisation is still on the political agenda.

In The Country - as Tony says, some people who live in the country don’t respect it and don’t deserve to live there. I doubt if this track would ever be played at a Countryside Alliance Conference.

Don’t Turn Around urges us to keep going and not run away when confronted with difficult personal situations in our lives.

Jimmy’s Bar is a place where men gather to drink, talk and have a good old rant and moan. Picture a gloomy terrace house in a bleak northern town with candles in bottles. No cocktails here boys and Jimmy will never, ever call time.

Old Men’s Shoes has a 60s feel and is a bittersweet take on growing old and sometimes drifting to the right.

Still Living In The USA - children growing up in 50s and 60s Britain looked to America as the place to be, but we have replaced the lone Ranger with the crooked Sheriff.

This thought provoking CD is a ‘must have’ for your collection and it would be gratifying to see these songs reach a much wider audience. The songs are all well-crafted and contain infectious choruses. Tony seeks to confront difficult issues that are facing us all in these troubled times. More power to his elbow. His guitar picking compliments the songs and the overall sound is enhanced by the electric bass playing of his son Patrick.

Sam Bracken

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This album was reviewed in Issue 124 of The Living Tradition magazine.