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SLIDE "Downhill All The Way" Slipjig Music SLIP007

Slide hail from Yorkshire so are off to a good start in the eyes of this reviewer. "Downhill All The Way" is, I think, their follow up to the well received "Slippery Slope" from a couple of years ago. Slide - or SlideUk to avoid confusion with another band-are a multi-instrumentalist outfit built around the talents of Tom Bliss and Derek Magee, although the rest aren't bad either.

The CD mixes traditional and self-penned tunes with songs written by the band, following the tried and tested alternate tune/song pattern. The album has many influences but is steeped in tradition as can be seen from the track titles. The songs tell good stories which is something I always enjoy and mention must be made of the way the lyrics are intelligent and well-crafted. I am not going to fall into the trap of selecting favourite tracks as this changes on each play, but I like the idea of a violin telling it's story (a bit like writing about the life of a penny when I was at school) and the tragedy of the miner who, for love, became a Quarryman because mining was dangerous - only to be killed in an accident. "Downhill All The Way" was recorded in front of a live audience with a few bits added later, a bit strange really as there is no clapping. All I can assume is that Slide are a live band essentially, so didn't want to be hampered by the constraints of a studio.

I think this CD should do well on the back of their live performances and hopefully I will be able to catch them live before long.

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 54 of The Living Tradition magazine.