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IVAN DREVER - Music From The Vaults Vol 1

IVAN DREVER - Music From The Vaults Vol 1
Orcadian Recordings ORCCD006

Orcadian musician, Ivan Drever has been recording for over 25 years as a solo artist and with bands such as Knowe O'Deil and Wolfstone. This album is a compilation of hitherto unreleased recordings mostly made over the past 12 years.

If you are wondering why a new release is called “vol 1” - as I must confess also passed through my mind! - then I can advise you that Ivan has found enough material for a second volume, which he hopes to release within the year.

What do I make of this first collection? Well, I have to say it is a pleasant 53 minutes of instrumentals, self-penned songs and one or two covers of Folk Classics like John Prine's Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness and Tom Paxton's The Last Thing On My Mind.

Some of the 13 tracks feature Charlie McKerron on fiddle, Jim Hunter and son Kris Drever (both on guitar). Also some Clueless tracks. (Let me re-phrase that clumsy construction: I meant some tracks with the band Clueless! Ha!)

What stood out?

Well, the best instrumental was the tune he wrote for his Norwegian wife (Ivan actually is domiciled in Norway): The Flower Of Kristiansand. A most atmospheric number that had me yearning to be back in that lovely country. His best self-penned effort was his touching song about the 1969 Orkney lifeboat disaster, Brave Souls, which helped sharpen my memory of the loss of those eight Longhope lifeboat men, and make it seem like it was only yesterday. I say “self-penned”, though in truth the melody of the chorus is in a direct line of descent from Bob Dylan's Idiot Wind.

To sum up: there is nothing at all that jars here. In an ideal world we would have had less of a cover of the Paxton/Prine classics, and more of an interpretation, but that is nit-picking on my part. For the truth is, that his Archie Fisher type vocals can sing virtually anything and make it sound easy on the listener's ear.

Dai Woosnam

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This album was reviewed in Issue 101 of The Living Tradition magazine.