BERNARD WRIGLEY – Every Song Tells A Story (Loofy Records 020)

There was a time (some time ago admittedly) when the words folk and ‘entertainer’ weren’t looked upon in such a derisory way as they are now. Shep Woolley, John Townsend, Jasper and Billy could all be found plying their trade alongside the Bolton ‘Bullfrog’ himself Bernard Wrigley. From his gently expressive Lancashire brogue Wrigley relates songs and tales the way you used to enjoy them whilst watching Jackanory (rhyming slang for a glib excuse…don’t you know?) or perhaps those early ‘folk’ performers including The Spinners. The art of balancing a sense of humour juxtaposed with the pathos experienced in a song like the opening track “The Dutchman” shows that the tears of a clown are indeed deeply imbedded in us all but of course to temper this, we have the jocularity of sadly missed music hall songs including “Down In The Fields Where The Buttercups All Grow” or Bernard’s own “Does My Bum Look Big In This”. It’s also good to see that the ‘folk’ singer in us of a certain dotage can still pick a good song from the back catalogue of established artists including John Denver (or in Bernard’s case the original composer Steve Gillette’s) “Darcy Farrow”. Even further back, Lonnie Donegan’sHave A Drink On Me” (the ‘Politically Correct’ brigade even had a say back in the early 60’s) has that welcoming hootenanny style that draws everybody in. In many respects this is an album that takes me back to my youth and for that alone I can’t thank Bernard enough.


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