DAVE ELLIS & BOO HOWARD Facebook Friend (Doghouse Records DGHCD 528)

DAVE ELLIS & BOO HOWARD Facebook FriendDave and Boo have a long musical history but that was then and this is now and I’d like to think that Facebook Friend will bring them new friends of a more substantial nature.

There is a theme of dislocation running through the record and if you need a soundtrack for your mid-life crisis this is it. The opening track, ‘Home Again’ is about that feeling of a need to return to your roots and is about the contentment you feel when you achieve that goal – the mirror image of ‘Back To Default’ which is about the crushing of life’s ambitions. The title track is about loneliness and the desire for real friendship but having to make do with its digital simulacrum. The track that’s getting all the interest, ‘God Save Olive Cooke’, is about the poppy seller who took her own life at the age of 92 because she had lost faith in humanity. Some people don’t take that long but surely that is the ultimate in dislocation?

There are songs of failed relationships, of the pain of childhood and of the realisation at some point in your life that you’ve come as far as you can and there ain’t nothing you can do about it. There are cheerier moments like ‘Victor Coyle’, the story a man who loved to sing and was the first owner of a 1912 Gibson mandolin like the one Dave now plays. Victor lived an ordinary life and died without really making a mark – but who’s to say that he wasn’t happy with his lot?

Between them, Dave and Boo play ten instruments and employ no-one else on the album. Despite their virtuosity, they deliberately keep it simple and share the lead vocals: Boo with a jazzy vibe – she also plays bass on the album – and Dave in a more folky style and despite the variety of moods the whole thing flows together very nicely.

Dai Jeffries

Artists’ website: www.daveandboo.com

A compendium of clips of Dave and Boo live:

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