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CHRIS LESLIE - Turquoise Tales

CHRIS LESLIE - Turquoise Tales
Private Label PAWS002

Chris is, of course, multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter with Fairport Convention. This, however, is a solo album – Chris plays all instruments and supplies all vocals – a man alone, yet achieving a sound like the most together band you ever heard. Despite the impressive array of instruments included, he never falls into the trap of allowing overdubs and self-accompaniment to clutter the recording. Instead, what we have here is a CD with plenty of elbow room for the songs to breathe.

Some songs will be familiar to Fairport fans – I’m Already There, The Fossil Hunter, I Wandered By A Brookside – all not so much newly recorded but reimagined with arrangements that allow us to hear them in a fresh light. There are new songs – The Gibson Girl (briskly interpolating a sprightly mando-Midnight On The Water), the eerie Another Me, the witty story telling of The Devil’s Work - three tunes sets and covers of Song Of Bernadette and Handsome Molly.

You’ll delight to the freshness and absolute charm of both the songs and Chris’s performance. Having enjoyed 11 tracks, you discover he has a final ace up his sleeve: the final surprise is sublime, concealed under the title, Swans On The Lake, and is a breath-taking finale to a remarkable achievement.

Nigel Schofield

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This album was reviewed in Issue 114 of The Living Tradition magazine.