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DAVE ARTHUR - Someone To Love You 

DAVE ARTHUR - Someone To Love You 
WildGoose Studios WGS435CD 

Dave Arthur has spent a lifetime breaking down the perceived borders and prejudices so prevalent in the folk music world, and his now long-term fascination with Appalachian music and song has continued this trend. This compilation of songs from the Rattle On The Stovepipe back catalogue illustrates the point excellently. It also showcases a vastly experienced singer’s first-rate song delivery, diction and musicality.

But there’s more to this offering than crossover songs; the listener is taken on a journey that shows how the Appalachian tradition developed from its various roots and became what it is today, while casting a backward glance on the songs collected by Sharp in the West Country. Dave has a great way of taking elements from different versions of a song in order to present the story in as complete and captivating a way as possible, and this (combined with an encyclopaedic knowledge of many aspects of song and music) ensures that all the songs here seem to hit the spot. Add in the tight, slick support from the rest of the band and you have an eminently listenable recording.

According to the sleeve notes, the original idea was to produce a selection of songs for Dave’s friends and family. Personally, I’m glad that they’ve been given a wider circulation.

John Waltham


This review appeared in Issue 133 of The Living Tradition magazine