Burning Salt’s “love letter” to Holloway Women’s Prison

Burning Salt

Burning Salt – Hannah Hull (vocals, guitar, piano), Bobby Williams (electric guitar) and John Parker (double bass) – base their music on Hannah’s distinctive voice and sometimes painfully direct songs. Among other things, Hannah is resident artist on Islington Museum’s Echoes of Holloway Prison project, focused on oral histories from Holloway Prison, which closed in 2016. She has used some of those transcripts, from ex-prisoners, prison officers and other staff, as inspiration for a number of songs to be released on the EP Dirt, for release on the 7th September 2018.

Hannah says:

“Many of the stories left me in tears. Not just because of the horror contained within them, but also the strength. I wanted to provide a platform for the stories and themes contained within them to be heard, listened to, connected with. These stories complicate the issue of prisons. They demand empathy, and confuse narratives of punishment.”

“I think this was probably the most surprising theme found within the oral history transcripts: love. Love for the prison, love for the prisoners, love despite the prison environment, love despite the incredible scale of pain and loss suffered by the women who end up in prison.”

As you might tell from the above, the six songs on the EP deal with difficult topics: not just suffering and loss, but the cycle of abuse, suicide and self-harm, cleaning up after dirty protests, and closes with an ambivalent “love letter” to the prison – ‘The Worst Place I Was Ever Scared Of’. In combination with Hannah’s unusual low-register vocals, understated yet with an extraordinary underlying intensity, this may not suit those who prefer their listening easy, but an exceptional recording that demands and deserves close attention. It may change the way you think about the prison system: it might even change your life a little. In any case, it’s an important release from a major talent.

Dirt will be publicly available on all major streaming platforms, and for digital download via www.burningsalt.com from 7 September 2018.

Burning Salt will perform the songs at a launch event on 7 September 2018 from 8pm to 10.30pm at the New Unity Chapel, 39A Newington Green, London N16 9PR. The £12 ticket price includes a special edition digital download of the EP and a poetry booklet.

David Harley

Tickets: https://dirtep.eventbrite.co.uk

Artist’s website: www.burningsalt.com

‘The Worst Place I Was Ever Scared Of’ – official video:

WILL KEATING – Cornwall My Home (Kernow Ow Thre) (Own Label)

Cornwall My HomeAs it happens, I’d heard quite a lot of Will Keating’s CD Cornwall My Home (Kernow Ow Thre) before a copy came my way, having heard Will on the West Cornwall radio station Coast FM, where Ian Semple has played the seriously catchy title song ‘Cornwall My Home’ several times. All the material here is written by Harry Glasson, apart from a Cornish translation of one of Harry’s songs. Harry Glasson was a popular performer in Cornwall and far beyond for over 30 years, until cancer surgery in 2009 made singing almost impossible. Will describes the album as a celebration of his “friend, and Mentor, and true Cornish Legend, Harry (Safari) Glasson.” Which seems a fair summation.

Will’s very pleasant vocals are augmented here by some notable local names: Anna Dowling (fiddle and nicely understated backing vocals), John Dowling (banjo), Owain Hanford (drums and percussion) and long-time jazzer Claudia Colmer (double bass) among them.

  1. ‘Prelude’ is actually eight seconds of a very small person (Will’s youngest daughter, aged three at the time) singing the last line of ‘Cornwall My Home’. If that sounds too cute for comfort, bear with me: there’s a lot to like about this CD.
  2. ‘Bury Me’ isn’t as sombre as its title suggests, being an expression of the writer’s desire to enjoy interment within sight of the picturesque Cornish landscape. And why not?
  3. I have heard a recording by Harry of ‘Home For Flora’ augmented by a kazoo (I guess) playing the ‘Helston Flora Dance’ as a counterpoint to the chorus. Will’s version doesn’t go that far, and the fiddle, banjo, bass and percussion here are sympathetic to the underlying sadness of the lyric, and then shade into a sprightly version of the ‘Flora Dance’ played by the Helston Town Band. I can’t imagine that anyone who’s ever enjoyed the spectacle on May 8th wouldn’t like to have this recording as a lasting memento.
  4. ‘Kernow Ow Thre’ is a version of ‘Cornwall My Home’ translated into Cornish by Matthi ab Dewi: this is a sparse arrangement with just Will’s vocals (double-tracked in places) and guitar and Claudia Colmer’s double bass. Even so, a notable earworm.
  5. ‘Saint Just Feast’ was recorded live during Will’s Cornish Folk concert at St Senara’s Church in Zennor. (I’d guess that the Zennor church’s connection with the legend of the mermaid of Zennor has a lot to do with the mermaids that adorn the sleeve, the booklet, and the CD itself. Will tells me that they were drawn by Anna Dowling and modelled on his four daughters.) It’s an engaging contemplation on the Cornish traditions of choral singing and parish feasts, though it’s simply and effectively arranged here with just Will’s voice and guitar.
  6. ‘Song For Cornwall’ (sometimes known as ‘Harry’s Song For Cornwall’) picks up the pace and features Matthew Woolley’s chin cello (a violin or viola strung with low-range strings to emulate the range of a “real” cello), Izaak Spencer’s mandolin, and William Barnes on bass, as well as John Dowling’s banjo.
  7. ‘Cornwall My Home’ is probably Harry’s best-known song, not least through the singing of the Oggymen, the Cape Cornwall Singers, Bone Idol and many others. This arrangement includes a wider range of instruments (including Louise Amanda Payne on cello and viola) and the Truro High School for Girls Prep Choir. While the overall effect is more ‘Grandad’ than ‘Another Brick In The Wall Part 2’, it’s absurdly catchy and I even found my cynical old eyes trying (and failing, fortunately) to water a little. And I’m not even Cornish, though I live in the area…
  8. ‘Newlyn’ is a darker song, the only one here in a minor key: fittingly, since it addresses the decline of the Cornish fishing industry with understated effectiveness. As elsewhere, Anna Dowling’s fiddle deserves a mention, as do John Dowling’s banjo and Claudia Colmer’s atmospheric bowed double bass.
  9. ‘Men Of Cornwall’ is another of Harry’s song that is often sung by others: John Dowling’s banjo here gives it a pleasant Americana-ish feel.
  10. ‘South Crofty’ was also recorded at the St Senara’s concert and benefits from Will’s spoken introduction to the story of how it came to be written. The South Crofty tin and copper mine in Pool was closed in 1998, but the song encapsulates Harry’s reaction to the news that it was hoped to reopen it under new management. That hasn’t happened yet (as far as I know), but it’s nice to think that it still might.
  11. ‘Beautiful Islands Of Scilly’ features harmonies from The Oggymen and Rob Norman’s piano and organ. And if that doesn’t get you onto the Scillonian for a trip to St Mary’s, I don’t know what will.
  12. ‘Saint Just Ladies’ is a kind of old-timey Cornish equivalent to ‘California Girls’, with a tune that reminds me slightly of an old ballad about Jesse James. I’m not sure it’s altogether politically correct, but I bet it gets everyone singing along in folk clubs.
  13. ‘Dicky Pips Dunkey’ is a dialect poem performed by Andy Rowe: if you find the various ‘Arkansas Traveller’ vaudeville sketches amusing, or fond memories of Bill Caddick slipping ‘P-tarmigan and Groaty Dick’ onto his Sunny Memories album you’ll like this too. Well, I did, but I have a strange sense of humour and a love for quirky fragments of regional folklore.

I’m sure there’s a ready audience for this well-packaged CD among Cornwall’s many summer visitors, but there’s more to this collection than tourist board fodder. While I don’t quite hear a stunner like Steve Knightley’s ‘Cousin Jack’ or Jim Causley’s setting of ‘My Young Man’s A Cornishman’, these are good, solid songs whose choruses are often heard in various West Country venues, and there’s more than a hint here and there of the magic and mystery that lingers in the Cornish landscape.

So I’m off to see what other songs of Harry Glasson’s I can find on SoundCloud…

David Harley

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Artist’s website: https://www.willkeatingcornwall.com/

‘Cornwall My Home’:

MARTIN BARRE – Roads Less Travelled (Garage Records GAR0002)

Roads Less TravelledI don’t think I’ve heard Jethro Tull for decades, but one of the highlights of the band’s music was, for me and many others, Martin Barre’s guitar work, so I jumped at the opportunity to check out his solo album Roads Less Travelled, for release on 31st August 2018. The CD features ten excellent songs plus an instrumental, all composed by Martin. As well as Martin’s guitars, banjo, mandolin and mandola, these tracks also feature regular members of the Martin Barre Band Dan Crisp (lead vocals on most tracks), Alan Thomson (bass/fretless bass) and Darby Todd (drums), augmented by Alex Hart and Becca Langsford (lead and backing vocals), Josiah J (percussion and Hammond organ), Aaron Graham (drums) and Buster Cottam (double bass).

If some of the tracks here make me think of 60s/70s West Coast and/or fusion music, that’s by no means a criticism, and it shouldn’t be taken as implying a dated approach. Partly, I think, it’s because Dan Crisp’s versatile vocals sometimes remind me of specific individuals from that era; partly because of the effective use of harmonizing lead guitars; partly because of the super-accurate way the guitars, bass and organ track each other’s lines.

Here’s the track listing.

  1. ‘Lone Wolf’, with the addition of Martin’s mandolin, mandola and banjo, borders on country-rock. And a splendid example it is. Slightly reminiscent of the Eagles or even Buffalo Springfield.
  2. ‘Out Of Time’ alternates some nifty electric riffing and athletic drumming with some gentler acoustic work.
  3. ‘I’m On My Way’ also benefits from Martin’s mandolin and mandola, as well as some tasty electric guitar.
  4. ‘Roads Less Travelled’ features some very nice lead guitar harmonies, and lots more.
  5. Becca Langsford takes over the vocals on ‘Badcore Blues’, a moody song supported by acoustic guitars, drums and bass guitar. A long way from country blues, but captures some of that desperation despite its sophistication.
  6. The nostalgic ‘Seattle’ balances acoustic and electric guitars with spot-on vocal and instrumental harmonies.
  7. ‘For No Man’ features breath-taking interplay between the guitars, fretless bass and organ over sophisticated changes.
  8. ‘(This Is) My Driving Song’ leans towards riff-driven 70s rock. Works for me…
  9. The jazzy ballad ‘You Are An Angel’ features Alex Hart on vocals, backed by Martin’s acoustic guitars and Buster Cottam’s double bass. Very classy.
  10. ‘Trinity’ is the CD’s only instrumental, with Martin playing all instruments. A tour de force, drawing on a wide range of musical influences.
  11. ‘And The Band Played Only For Me’ features Becca Langsford on lead vocals, ably augmented with Alex Hart’s backing vocals. Somewhere on the borderline between jazz and city blues, with lovely guitar and organ. If ‘Trinity’ is my favourite track, this is my favourite vocal track, though ‘You Are An Angel’ isn’t far behind it.

Excellent songs sympathetically sung, a master of the guitar (and no slouch on several other instruments), accompanied by a set of accomplished musicians and singers, and flawlessly produced: this is an album that’s going to stay on my iPod…

David Harley

Artist’s website: https://martinbarre.com/

The Martin Barre Band at The Citadel, Wigan:

JULIE JULY BAND – Who Knows Where The Time Goes (Aurora Folk Records JJB18CD1)

Who Knows Where The Tme GoesThe Julie July Band has built a substantial reputation on reinterpretations of Sandy Denny’s songs, so it comes as no surprise that the CD Who Knows Where The Time Goes, released on July 27th, is a collection of 11 songs written by Sandy, plus one song of Richard Farina’s that she recorded at least twice. Lead vocals are taken by Julie July: the rest of the band (and very accomplished they are too) being Steve Rezillo – lead guitar and vocals; Nick Smith and Don Mac (a former musical sparring partner of mine and still picking a mean guitar) – acoustic guitars; Blake Probert – bass guitar; Garry Low on drums and percussion, and the late Martin Emeny (drums on two tracks); Georgina Groom – fiddle; Chris Hutchison – piano and Hammond organ.

Even though it’s 40 years since Sandy Denny’s untimely death, there are probably few people reading this review who haven’t been touched by her voice and her music. Certainly I can still remember the first time I heard her on radio in the 60s (and even what she sang: ‘The False Bride’ and Jackson C. Frank’s ‘Milk And Honey’!). While some of the songs here date back to her time with Fairport (and even before), most of them are best known from her solo albums. Here’s the track-by-track listing.

  1. ‘The North Star Grassman And The Ravens’ is the title track from Sandy’s first solo album, from 1971. While Julie captures the spirit of Sandy’s singing particularly well here, the accompaniment here is simpler than either of the Denny recordings I’ve heard, carried by Chris Hutchison’s piano and Georgina Groom’s lyrical fiddle. Will I invite a torrent of hate mail if I say I actually prefer it this way?
  2. ‘Listen Listen’ is more lightly produced and arranged than the version on the 1972 album Sandy, and none the worse for that.
  3. ‘Fotheringay’ is the song about the castle where Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned and finally executed: the song gave its name to Sandy’s short-lived quintet project. (Coincidentally, the band’s concert in Bangor was one of the first music reviews I ever wrote.) This version follows the version on What We Did On Our Holidays fairly closely, and it’s rather nice to hear those guitar harmonies again.
  4. ‘It’ll Take A Long Time’ is also from Sandy: It must have taken a certain amount of courage to compete with the memory of Richard Thompson’s guitar and Sneaky Pete’s pedal steel on the original recording (or, come to that, Donahue and Wilsher on the Royalty recording), but some understated slide and lead work here fill that gap very adequately.
  5. ‘Solo’ is maybe taken just a little faster than the version on Like An Old Fashioned Waltz with some very nice acoustic guitar. And it suits Julie’s voice very well.
  6. Does anyone reading this not know ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes’? First heard on record on Fairport’s Unhalfbricking (though an earlier version later appeared on the belatedly released Strawbs album All Our Own Work), the song has been covered by artists as diverse as Judy Collins, Nina Simone, 10,000 Maniacs and Daria Kulesh, and in 2007 the Fairport version was voted “Favourite Folk Track Of All Time” by Radio 2 listeners. Julie’s version has the general feel of the Fairport version, but is by no means a slavish copy, and does the song justice. In particular, the lead guitar is more restrained, in contrast to the youthfully exuberant ubiquity of Richard Thompson’s country licks on the Unhalfbricking version, against which even Sandy sometimes struggles to hold the listener’s attention.
  7. ‘The Lady’ harks back to the Sandy album, with just piano for backing. Lovely.
  8. ‘Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood’ is the Richard Farina song that put new words to the melody of ‘My Lagan Love’ (which in itself is a new-ish set of words – usually credited to Joseph Campbell – to an older song). It may seem perverse to give so much space to considering the only song on the CD that isn’t Sandy’s, but I’m going to anyway… Mimi Farina recorded this with a complex orchestral arrangement by Peter Schickele that sets off her fragile vocals admirably. Sandy recorded a folk-rock version with Fairport that I can’t quite learn to love, then a very different version on her second solo album with complex multitracking and an extended violin coda by Dave Swarbrick. Sandy’s second version is a tour de force, but for me, Julie’s unaccompanied version on this CD is truer to the song, allowing it to speak for itself. Up to now, Mimi’s version has been my favourite version, but I’m reconsidering. Sometimes all you need is a beautiful song beautifully sung.
  9. The slightly Joni-Mitchell-ish ‘The Pond And The Stream’ appeared on the eponymous Fotheringay Julie’s version follows that version fairly closely, even reproducing the ‘Theme From Mash’-ish intro, but it’s very nicely done.
  10. The mournful ‘Winter Winds’ also blew in on the Fotheringay Again, this version follows Sandy’s fairly closely, but maybe that’s appropriate: the Fotheringay album did mostly avoid the overproduction that sometimes clouded the later albums, at least for me.
  11. ‘Late November’ was recorded for The North Star Grassman And The Ravens and also appeared eventually on the Fotheringay 2. I particularly like the drum work from the late Martin Emeny on this arrangement, contrasting with quieter acoustic passages. Nice electric guitar too.
  12. ‘Full Moon’ was recorded for the Rendezvous sessions, but didn’t appear on that album, and I hadn’t heard it before (surprisingly – it’s a gorgeous song). However, three versions have been released on various posthumous collections. This version features piano and fiddle, and makes for a more than satisfying end to this CD.

Clearly, those lovers of Sandy Denny’s music who go to the Julie July Band’s gigs will be glad of this well-sung, well-recorded reminder of the experience (and while I’m not generally a huge fan of tribute bands, I’ll certainly be going to the band’s Cornish gig next year if I can). Hard-core Sandy’s fans and CD collectors may be harder to convince, but to my ears some of these arrangements are actually more sympathetic to the songs than the 70s recordings. And this selection would work very well as an introduction to Sandy’s own songs for anyone who isn’t familiar with her work.

David Harley 

Artist’s website: http://www.juliejuly.co.uk/index.html

‘The North Star Grassman And The Ravens’:

YVES LAMBERT TRIO – Tentation (La Prûche Libre PRU2 4818)

TentationYves Lambert’s is a well-known and well-respected name in Québécois traditional circles, as a founding member of La Bottine Souriante, as founder of the Bébert Orchestra, and, since 2010, the driving force behind the Yves Lambert Trio. The trio consists of Yves on accordions (I suspect that the word accordion is used in a more generic sense rather than referring strictly to piano accordion), Jews Harp, harmonica and lead vocals; Tommy Gauthier on violin, foot percussion and vocals; and Olivier Rondeau on guitars, bass and vocals. Their latest CD, Tentation, also features Mark Busic’s harmonium on one track.

The CD’s title is derived from Yves’ fascination with the story of the Temptation of Saint and Anthony, and the sleeve illustrations by Geneviève and Mélissa Chabot are based on an engraving by Martin Schongauer, though I get the impression that Yves is enjoying being tempted by demons far more than Saint Anthony was. Sadly, my 1960s vintage A-level French was of little help to me in understanding the lyrics, so the notes on individual tracks that follows are largely based on Yves’ own notes. However, not being able to follow much of the lyrics didn’t in the least mar my enjoyment of the CD.

  1. ‘La Poule à Jean-Paul’ is a reworking of the earlier hit ‘La Poule à Colin” (Colin’s Chicken)’ inspired by Jean-Paul Guimond.
  2. ‘Ignominie’ is a nineteenth century song that tells the story of a poor family burdened by a drunkard, though the melody is much older.
  3. ‘Suite du Cap Breton & La Deboulade’ features two reels from Cape Breton fiddler Andrea Beaton and a third composed by Tommy Gauthier in a similar style.
  4. ‘Les Diables’ – apparently this medieval song is based on the “Mistrine”, “a celebration where the common folk have fun setting traps for Beezelbub” and is here given a very modern treatment. The devil has the best arrangements as well as the best tunes.
  5. ‘Cousinage & Penchant Pour Ti-Jean’ is described as “A joyful call-and-response song about lawyers in true Québécois style”. Clearly I need to become better acquainted with that style, if not with the lawyers. This song is from the repertoire of the French-Canadian actor and singer Ovila Légaré.
  6. ‘La coquette à Poupa & Sa Suite’ features more Québécois reels. They didn’t quite get me “out of my chair” (not much does unless it’s the offer of a nice red wine), but they certainly got my feet tapping.
  7. ‘Le Lac Rond’ features the harmonium of Mark Busic, who also provided a cleverly understated arrangement building from a simple drone to something more complex.
  8. ‘Adultère & Le Reel du Cocu’ is, I guess from the title, somewhat saucy: in any case, it’s certainly toe-tapper.
  9. ‘Vent d’Irlande’ begins with some attractive, lilting ‘Celtic’ guitar, building into a more band-oriented instrumental. Lovely.
  10. ‘VIP Pour L’enfer’ Yves says: “The Devil comes to earth on the prowl for dishonest folks, in the style of a protest song.” If only the 60s “protest” boom had featured more lively music like this and less lugubrious songs about plastic people and everything being all wrong, man…

Yves notes that “For me, this theme is a nature study. A view of humanity through its strengths and weaknesses. From sacrifice and sin to pleasure and regret, with sacrifice integral to pleasure – plenty of paths to take.

It is in this spirit that I have developed the “happy” concept that will imbue this new album, featuring temptation in all its forms – carnal pleasure, drinking, abuse of power, etc.

Perhaps it’s not going to be a big hit in the Vatican, then. But this combination of muscular vocals, adventurous material, and fine musicianship is certainly going to keep my ears and toes happy for a while. Sadly, by the time you read this, the dates I have for a July 2018 UK tour will mostly or all have passed. So watch out for the next one: I’ll stick my neck out on the strength of this recording to say that their live concerts must be spectacular.

David Harley

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist’s website: yveslambert.com/en

‘La Poule À Jean-Paul’:

PAUL COWLEY – [Just What I Know] (Lou B Music LBM 005 2018)

Just What I KnowIn the notes that arrived with Paul Cowley’s third solo CD [Just What I Know], he explains the album’s title by quoting the Reverend Gary Davis as say “…play just what you know…

It turns out that what Paul Cowley knows is country blues, and he really does know his subject, with influences including Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt et al. This CD features eleven songs: five of them are his own, and the rest are from classic blues artists like Memphis Minnie and Furry Lewis. The CD mostly features Paul’s own guitar and slide guitar, percussion and vocals, but Pascal Ferrari contributes bass and percussion, and also mixed and mastered Paul’s original recordings.

There is a hint of a regional theme to this CD in that several of the artists whose songs are represented here were active around Memphis and/or North Mississippi in the early-ish 20th century. The main exceptions being Blind Willie McTell (who was largely active around Atlanta, Georgia) and Paul himself, who is originally from Birmingham in the UK and now lives in Brittany. While his own songs here don’t conform to a strict 8/12/16-bar or I-IV-V format, they combine blues-soaked guitar and vocal work with a sophisticated urban lyricism, informed by country blues but not dictated by a need to imitate it.

  1. ‘New Bumble Bee no2’ was one of Memphis Minnie’s most popular songs – indeed, she recorded several versions of it. Paul makes it own with some tasteful slide and a vocal that reminds me a little of Peter Green in acoustic mode.
  2. ‘I’ll Go With Her’, recorded in 1930 by Robert Wilkins, forgoes the discreet sassiness of the first track for a more funereal theme: “I’ll go with her, I’ll follow her, I will, to her buryin’ place“, though this is a bluesier song than the gospel blues of the Reverend Wilkins’ later years. In tempo and vocal delivery, this version is fairly close to the original, though with more light and shade in the guitar work.
  3. ‘Penny For Mine Penny For Yours’ is the first of Paul Cowley’s own songs, beginning with slightly jazzy guitar and moving into a smoky vocal supported by an understated but effective accompaniment including Pascal Ferrari’s sympathetic bass work. (It turns out that the sleeve notes are slightly adrift on this point: Pascal plays bass on tracks 3 and 8, not on 5 and 10.)
  4. ‘Red Fence’ is another of Paul’s own songs: a pleasantly summery sound.
  5. ‘Memphis Jug Blues’ was written by Will Shade for the Memphis Jug Band. Rather than try for a jug band feel, this version has sprightly acoustic guitar that reminds me a little of the Reverend Gary Davis, and it works very well.
  6. On Blind Willy McTell’s ‘I Got To Cross That River Of Jordan’ has a similar feel to McTell’s 12-string slide, but the slower pace, different tuning, and elaborate vocal lines, also reminded me of Blind Willie Johnson. And that’s not a bad thing either.
  7. ‘Summer Breeze’ is another Cowley song: if the title reminds you of Seal and Crofts, don’t let it trick you into expecting a similarly smooth delivery. This is far gutsier.
  8. Paul’s ‘Dollar & A Lie’ has more upfront slide: while the structure is about as simple as it gets, the combination of boogie feel and cynical lyric is attractive.
  9. ‘Hiver Dur’, the last Cowley song on the CD, paints (as you might expect from the title) a dramatic picture of a hard winter. At the moment this is my favourite track.
  10. ‘Judge Harsh Blues’ is a song by Furry Lewis, structurally not unlike Robert Wilkins’ ‘Prodigal Son’, but tells quite a different story. Paul takes it more slowly than either of the Furry Lewis versions I’ve heard, but it works very nicely.
  11. ‘Roll & Tumble’ is a version of ‘Roll And Tumble Blues’, probably first recorded by Hambone Willie Newbern in 1928. Not much is known about Newbern, but the song has been recorded and reworked many times over the years, not only by other blues artists but by rock acts including Cream, Captain Beefheart, and the Grateful Dead. This stripped-down version is closer to its roots, though, enlivened by the addition of a one string diddley bow.

This is an excellent CD: good songs combining authentic blues and gritty contemporary songs with a strong blues flavour, played and sung well. I look forward to hearing what else Paul Cowley knows.

David Harley

Artist’s website: www.paulcowleymusic.com/

‘Bumble Bee’ – home video: