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STEVE PLEDGER - Alone In The Dark 

STEVE PLEDGER - Alone In The Dark 
Noisy Dog Records NDCD02 

At first glance, or even first listen, this seems to fall squarely into the category of ‘CDs you wouldn't mind acquiring as a souvenir of an enjoyable gig’. But it is rather more interesting than that. Until now, I have not been familiar with Mr Pledger's work, but apparently he is huge in Somerset. He has already released three studio albums, all of them represented in this collection, his first live recording. On the face of it, and despite a superficial look of Elvis Costello, this is not a million miles removed from the sort of thing a myriad of singer-songwriters turn out. But Steve has a notably strong voice and writes thoughtful and often rather cheerful songs, accompanied (with one late and partial exception) by a sole, expensive-sounding acoustic guitar.

That exception is a surprise rendition of that ancient warhorse, We Shall Overcome, sung along with the Devon and Somerset Street Choirs (I told you he was big in the West Country). You could view this final track as a little bonus. More typical of his output are songs like Friends And Fathers and The Parable Of Intent, both from his second album. If I have a personal favourite that I can imagine singing along to at the end of a good evening, it would be I Spat Fire, from his latest, which is every bit as sparky as it promises.

Dave Hadfield


This review appeared in Issue 132 of The Living Tradition magazine