Here’s the latest record reviews by Kevin Bryan.
Graham Nash, This Path Tonight (Blue Castle Records) - Graham Nash’s first solo album for more than a decade finds the venerable singer and songwriter reflecting on his own mortality as he unveils a subtly memorable package which showcases a touching tribute to his old friend Levon Helm of Band fame in the shape of Back Home, alongside his nostalgic lament for friendships lost, Golden Days. Nash’s distinctive tenor voice may be a little rough around the edges these days, but this apparent fraility simply adds to the charm of fine tracks such as Another Broken Heart, Beneath The Waves and This Path Tonight itself.
Jenny Sturgeon, From The Skein (Tamarach Records) - Jenny Sturgeon’s impressive debut set draws much of its inspiration from the rich folklore of her home region, the north east of Scotland, as her thoughtful songs interweave elements of traditional music and much more unexpected genres such as drum and bass and Indian Carnatic singing. Maiden Stone and Culan are particularly impressive creations, the latter providing a delicately harmonised variation on the familiar folk theme of The Cruel Sister. Splendid stuff.
The Move, Move (Esoteric) - Roy Wood’s Move were one of Britain’s most imaginative and successful rock outifts during their creative heyday in the late sixties, and this fine CD reissue serves up a remastered version of the band’s 1968 debut album in its original glorious mono. As an added bonus the good people at Esoteric have also included five historic bouns tracks from those far off days, including the A and B sides of a couple of hit singles, Night of Fear and the deliciously dated I Can Hear The Grass Grow.
Laura Cantrell, At the BBC (Spit & Polish) - This engaging anthology brings together the best of the recordings that country balladeer Laura Cantrell made for the BBC between 2000 and 2005, including extracts from no less than five John Peel sessions. The late great radio DJ was a great admirer of Laura’s work, once describing her debut album as “My favourite album of the last ten
years and possibly my life.” This prime practitioner of the purest Americana has rarely sounded more tender or affecting, and the New York based artist is in particularly fine fettle as she tackles covers of Don Gibson’s Legend In My Time and Hoagy Carmichael’s Hong Kong Blues.