Dom Prag has been steeped in the traditions of the classical guitar since childhood. His dad taught him to play but he stopped having lessons at about 12 and took things off in his own fashion, learning to play blues and composing songs of his own. The style evolved into folk music but Dom’s playing is basically classical guitar and he has never yet swapped his nylon strings for steel. His playing exploits the instrument’s bass opportunities and its range, from mellow and lyrical, to thunderous. He delivers a challenging repertoire, in songs that show a desire to fight injustice and help bring people through dark times to the light at the end of the tunnel, a feeling which informs his repertoire choices and his writing equally on this album.
In normal times, Dom tours throughout the UK and is a regular performer at folk clubs and festivals. In between lockdowns, in July 2020 he moved onto a narrowboat and has spent the time since then acquainting himself with life on the canals. The other thing that kept him going despite Covid restrictions was working on Needle & Thread, his second album, produced by Phil Beer. The recording was much interrupted by lockdowns but with some contributions recorded remotely and some socially distanced sessions recorded at either Phil Beer’s studio in Devon, or his pop up studio at Loudwater Farm in Rickmansworth, the album is finally ready and will be released in February 2022.
There are seven traditional songs and three originals written by Dom on the album. While he does some tracks in his usual solo singer-songwriter mode, several of the tracks see him joined by other musicians, and you will hear, variously, the vocal harmonies of Rowan Piggott and Rosie Hodgson (The Wilderness Yet), Odette Michell, Tom Evans on melodeon, cello from Joely Koos and Phil Beer on fiddle. On one track Dom’s brother, Rich Prag plays drums, the drum track was recorded in isolation during strict lockdown, at Water Rat Studios in Woking.
The album opens with Dom’s dramatic arrangement of ‘Van Diemen’s Land’ where he is joined by Phil Beer’s fiddle playing and rousing cello from Joely Koos. Joely is a member of the City of London Sinfonia and regularly plays with the London Chamber Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. In contrast, on track three Dom sings an a capella version of another traditional song, ‘Foster’s Mill’, with vocal harmonies from Rowan Piggott and Rosie Hodgson.
Phil Beer plays fiddle on the rousing ‘South Medomsley Strike’ and provides harmonies along with accomplished folk singer songwriter, Odette Michell. On another mining related song, ‘Oakey Strike Evictions’, there is a skilful drum track from Rich Prag that drives it along and some extraordinary fiddle playing from Phil Beer.
“Dom Prag will be big very soon…” Folking.com
Artist’s website: https://www.domprag.com/
‘The Shoemender’ – official video: