TOM McCONVILLE – Tommy On The Road (Tomcat Music TCCD08)

As one of the acoustic music scene’s genuinely nice blokes, Tom McConville has endeared himself to the circuit with a Northern charm and wit that other artists could only ever hope to emulate. To me, Tom will always be the ultimate ‘everyman’ performer in that his choice of material whether it’s traditional or contemporary readily hits the mark and will inevitably bring a smile to the face of the harshest critic. Take for instance the opening track “Stay Young” on this, his latest recording. Composed by Benny Gallagher (of Gallagher & Lyle fame) the song employs an infinitely sing-able chorus that, at a concert will prove irresistible to any fully subscribed ‘folk’ audience. Of course McConville is also a highly regarded fiddle player and does not disappoint with flashy excursions of digital dexterity as displayed on the outrageously ambitious “Mathematician” composed by none other than the Strathspey king himself J Scott Skinner. In the excellent hands of studio engineer Ron Angus and accompanied by fellow musicians including David Newey (guitar), Shona Kipling (accordion) and Phil Murray on acoustic bass it’s the enjoyment factor that carries the CD along on a wave of unpretentious bonhomie and without taking anything for granted, whilst it might have been a long time for Tommy on the road the pleasure he has spread will see him good for at least a few more miles yet.


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