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Stockfisch Records SFR35740922 

This CD is a retrospective of the career to date of the Somerset songwriter and comprises 12 songs re-recorded at Stockfisch Studios in Germany with renowned producer Gunther Pauler at the helm.

Reg is a real deal performer who writes very ably with subject matter relating to “love, death, politics and social commentary,” according to the sleeve notes. If you were previously unaware of Reg, this is a great way to discover his work and be impressed by his clarity and skill as a singer / guitarist.

Stand out tracks are For Sophie (This Beautiful Day), a moving tribute to the young Munich University student executed in 1943 by the Nazis for her part in the opposition White Rose movement, and the observational England Green And England Grey – “austerity and slavery I thought they were behind us”. The vagaries of love and loss are found in songs like Jealous, I Need You and One Way Ticket To Louise. Loneliness oozes through the intriguing imagery of The Man In Edward Hopper’s Bar and The Shoreline And The Sea.

The final track, Worry No More, however, has a brighter pace and brings positivity and hope despite the hard times.

Augmenting Reg’s vocal and guitars are guest musicians Ian Melrose (guitar and flute), Lutz Möller (keyboards), Justin Ciuche and Lucile Chaubard (violins), Jean Kelly (Irish harp), Antoine Pütz and Hans-Jörg Maucksch (bass) and Beo Brockhausen (saxophones). All tracks have a warmth and depth in the arrangements, instrumentation and quality of the production. The CD is well presented with a comprehensive booklet complete with lyrics.

This album is a pure joy and would sit happily in any collection alongside the top flight English singer songwriters of recent decades.

Gerry Jones

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This album was reviewed in Issue 126 of The Living Tradition magazine.