Link to Living Tradition Homepage





IAN SMITH - Last Call 

IAN SMITH - Last Call 
Stockfisch Records SFR35740942 

This is a CD from the latest addition to Germany’s Stockfisch Records stable: a singer/songwriter from Donegal who spent his boyhood and youth in Kilmarnock in Scotland.

Mind you, you could have fooled me: his singing voice is far more Kilmarnock Virginia, than Kilmarnock Ayrshire. But that said, I was determined not to let that spoil my enjoyment of the album, so I conveniently forgot all I’d read about his origins, and instead, regarded him as lifelong American. A successful gambit: it helped me enjoy my 51 minutes alone with Ian Smith.

Some of these songs have appeared on his previous albums. Of those, one stood out above the others: the Ian Smith/Enda Cullen composition Keadue Strand. A very touching song about the place in Donegal where he fell in love with Breda and eventually made his home. Of the other songs: it was two from the pen of Conor Bowman, an Irishman unknown to me - Missin’ Trains and When It Snows In New York City – that really registered strongly. The latter is lit up by some exquisite soprano sax from Beo Brockhausen. Other well-crafted songs include Lady Overlander (with divine mandolin and backing vocals from the great Tim O’Brien) and The Come And Go (with glorious accordion from Manfred Leuchter).

Add to this, there’s a handsomely produced booklet of liner notes which was well thought out, with fine artwork by Emre Meydan: and with the added bonus of lyrics easy to read with black/white typescript against a contrasting black/white background.

Dai Woosnam


This review appeared in Issue 131 of The Living Tradition magazine