GARRY and ROSE BLAKELEY – The Wheel Of The Year new album

It’s amazing what you can achieve at home these days and also where it literally becomes a ‘cottage’ industry. This couldn’t be more true than in the case of fiddler, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Garry Blakeley who has managed to keep it in the ‘family’ by collaborating with his wife Rose’s lyrics and son Edd (production, mixing and engineering) along with contributions from Dave Mattacks, Hugh Crabtree and Steve Hampton. The Wheel Of The Year features a song cycle using festivals, ceremonies and customs as the main thrust for linking the component parts of the project on an album that really focuses on the nostalgia of the ‘folk-rock’ genre and the ‘glory days’ of Fairport and Steeleye in the early 70’s. Call me ageist if you like but certainly this was the best era for this kind of music and personally speaking is as relevant today as it was then. Britain’s heritage proudly nails its colours to the mast including a very General Taylor-ish “Nelson’s Victory” complete with rally inspired acapella singing accompanied only by stirring drum recruiting rhythms and followed by some nicely placed fiddle and electric guitar power chords on the instrumental ending. On the track “The Last Post” with its condemnation of the futility of war followed by the towering “Battle Of The Somme” shows Garry’s loyalty to his country without the use of overt jingoism. Wisely opting to put the prodigious lyrics of the songs on the project’s website where you can also find plenty of background information this is a CD well worth adding to your collection!

PETE FYFE


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