David Edward Booth’s All My Days cuts melodic tendons. And, like really nice folk music, it sings with melodies that are etched with Half Moon in Putney tradition. One night, when I was lucky enough to be in the audience, The Strawbs’ lead guy Dave Cousins’ brilliant acoustic passion and sweat (almost) dripped into my front row pint. By the way, the singer-songwriter Peter Bond opened the evening and stunned me (and my friend Lee Williams) with his highly metaphorical song, ‘The Joker’.
Indeed, All My Days continues in that tradition. ‘Another Me’ is a soft first step introspective glance at the past while “walking familiar hills with their swift-less skies”, which of course, courses into a reflective reverie, complete with a sad horned halo. Then, ‘Run’ quickens the pace with piano and is an examination into the easy excuse where “fine words are often spoken”, but of course reality requires the confession of “we all have faults and cracks”. It’s a simple song that envelops such a huge human complexity. The same is true for ‘As I Have Always Done’ which pursues some sort of true wisdom and identity when “looking hard to find a lost soul” who is “seeking diamonds in a black hole”.
Indeed, this music is a melodic journey through “the edges of existence”.
And then the philosophy deepens in ‘Blackbird’, (with words written by David’s friend in Sweden) which is “a message to bring along in the dead of the night now”. That is, perhaps, the condensed (and always elusive) definition of Camus’ existentialism. Oh – acoustic sweat and passion drip very near to humanity’s pint with ‘Rainbows Of October’ which is a somber dance in the nicely juxtaposed symbolism of summer beauty and autumn decay. The tune’s piano and violin forbearance, with the backing vocals of Kelly Bayfield, conjure the tragedy of a Thomas Hardy novel.
But ‘All My Days’ follows with a melodic respite (with even more vocals from Kelly Bayfield!) that rises from the loss “of someone close” into the strong words that suggest “love every day while life grows long’ Once again, the song oozes with that huge human complexity.
Oh my – the lyrical depth morphs into the philosophical (and quite brilliant!) ‘Just Following Tracks’, which details a sad footstep as “a father leaves. And tries to explain”, as he confesses, “I taste the rain”.
And, as my friend, Kilda Defnut, says, “The rain is always on any folksinger’s menu”.
Thankfully, the fairly direct love song ‘You Are The Reason’ provides a tranquil and quite sincere umbrella, despite (ironically!) the speaker (once again!) “being drenched to our skins and soak it up so deep as we come alive”.
The final totally acoustic votive candle tune, ‘My Friend Who Brought Me In’, echoes the loss of the before-mentioned ‘All My Days’, and with more somber horns, sings with the “rain-soaked” weary optimism that “I will go looking for some places to breathe”. And that’s a lovely final thought.
There’s that brilliant passion and sweat in these songs. Perhaps, there’s a really good Half Moon memory in these grooves. And the amazing often-quoted lyricism drips into a good pint of humanity’s well-earned and always melodically folk song (with home fires!) brewed ale.
Artist’s website: https://davidedwardbooth.co.uk/
‘Run’ with Kelly Bayfield: