Kevin Bryan’s record review

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Jim Lauderdale, “London Southern” (Proper Records)

Prolific Nashville tunesmith Jim Lauderdale travelled to London to record his new Proper long-player in London with the redoutable Nick Lowe’s

producer and touring band and the finished product is deliciously relaxed and organic, drawing on

elements of soul, bluegrass and folk to create one of the most rewarding roots music packages that you

could ever wish to hear. “London Southern” is often reminiscent of Lowe’s work with Ducks Deluxe and

his subsequent solo exploits , and Lauderdale’s songwriting expertise illuminates choice cuts such as

“You Came To Get Me,” “Different Kind of Groove” and the bluesy “I Can’t Do Without You.”

Shelagh McDonald, “The Shelagh McDonald Album” & “ Stargazer” (Talking 
Elephant)

These splendidCD re-issues from the good people at Talking Elephant focus attention on the ultimately rather tragic

career of Shelagh McDonald. This Scottish singer-songwriter recorded these excellent albums for the

Mooncrest label during the heyday of the genre in the early seventies before a bad LSD trip left her

paranoid and hallucinating and prompted her to retreat totally from the public eye for more than 40

years. It would be tempting to speculate on the path that she might have taken if fate had treated her a

little more kindly, but her sadly all too meagre back catalogue certainly repays closer investigation, with

the cream of Britain’s folk-rock talent underpinning a beguiling blend of self-penned songs and traditional

material.

Michala Petri & Lars Hannibal, “Garden Party” (OUR Recordings)

The dear old recorder has never been regarded as the most glittering star in the classical firmament, but Michala Petri continues to champion

its cause whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself. This enchanting new recital continues

the Danish virtuoso’s long standing performing partnership with guitarist Lars Hannibal and finds the duo

tackling a series of character pieces penned by composers such as Grieg, Nielsen and Edouard Lalo

before closing proceedings with an evocative adaptation of a traditional Chinese tune, “Ge Xie Mei Ling.”

Overend Watts, “He’s Real Gone” (Angel Air)

Bass player Pete “Overend” Watts is best remembered these days for his sterling exploits with glam rockers Mott the Hoople during the early seventies, and the Birmingham born musician did his best to keep the band’s name alive after creative mainstays Ian Hunter and Mick Ralphs left the fold in 1974. His efforts were sadly doomed to failure however, and Watts took a back seat from performing to concentrate on record production, only completing “He’s Real Gone,”his first solo album shortly before his untimely death from throat cancer earlier this year.His musical epitaph is a typically quirky and unpredictable affair which should be required listening for MTH devotees everywhere.