After a long career littered with names like Alex Campbell, Alexis Korner, Lonnie Donegan and Derroll Adams, Charlie Harrigan took a break and went sailing for almost twenty years. A brush with mortality a couple of years ago brought him back to music to record Wasted And Wounded, his first album since 1997.
Although he hails from Glasgow his heart clearly belongs across the Atlantic. Indeed, he hosted a weekly television programme in Canada and his varied experiences inform his choice of material. The album opens with “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You’, which is enough to engage my interest. Better still, Charlie returns later to Tom Waits with my all-time favourite, ‘Shiver Me Timbers’. Most of the American songs come from the underclass: ‘The Lady Came From Baltimore’; ‘Waiting For A Train’; ‘Whiskey Basin Blues’, an unusually dark song from John Denver, and Lyle Lovett’s ‘If I Had A Boat’ which I still haven’t figured out after all these years.
Returning home, Charlie does sound Scottish on ‘Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye’ and even more so on Geordie McIntyre’s ‘Writing On The Wall’. This is the kind of song I’d like to hear him do more of – from a singer and writer we don’t hear enough about and a natural fit for Charlie’s voice. Finally we have ‘My Old Gibson Guitar’ by Charlie’s old friend Alex Campbell, a song that spans the Atlantic nicely.
I don’t think that Wasted And Wounded is going to make too many waves: it’s very simply done (nothing wrong with that) and perhaps a little old-fashioned but it’s for those very reasons that I like it.
Artist’s website: http://www.harrigan.me.uk/
‘Morning Train’ – Charlie’s current single and not on the album: