ROGER KNOTT – Echoes In Time (Leg Room Records LEGCD116)

Echoes In TimeEchoes In Time is a slightly curious but very enjoyable blend of Englishness and Americana. All the instruments on Roger Knott’s ninth album (or possibly his thirteenth) were recorded by producer Thomm Jutz in Nashville while the vocals were recorded by Roger in England, which is where he lives. He is pigeon-holed as “country” but that seems rather restrictive. True, there’s fiddle, banjo and Dobro on the album, courtesy of Justin Moses but there is also accordion by Jeff Taylor.

Half the songs are written by Roger with the rest written or co-written by Gordon Irvine, about whom I know nothing. The opener, ‘Bridge’, has a very British-sounding lyric but Roger then moves on to Irvine’s civil war song, ‘Corduroy Road’ which is as country as you like. Before you ask, this is neither the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band song nor the one done by Heart being more literal and less metaphorical than either. It’s also a very good song.

Having established the parameters of his music, Roger mixes the two styles very effectively. ‘Echoes In Time’ is “seasons” song and the line about bluebells changing into sleigh-bells is saved only by the one about a child growing to begin “human racing”. ‘Drop Of Whisky’ is another of Irvine’s but less obviously country with Thomm Jutz’ guitar paired with the accordion.

The album returns several times to the theme of time’s passage. ‘Turn Back The Clocks’ is full of regret and thoughts we’ve all experienced while ‘Dig Infinity’ considers the process of evolution. ‘Evening Song’ looks forward and ‘Halfway There’ laments that our time is always too short. Isn’t that true?

Dai Jeffries

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