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MUSIC Album reviews

Latest releases from Mossy Christian, Terra Lightfoot and Paul Ruane

Mossy Christian
Come Nobles and Heroes
(Talking Cat/One Row Records)
★★★★★

THIS debut album from young Lincolnshire-born folk artist Mossy Christian is an impressive start to what looks set to be a promising career in performing traditional music.

Its 13 songs all stem from the musical traditions of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, and there is a strong sense of history, geography and storytelling in their performance. The Red Barn Murder tells the true story of the 1827 murder of Maria Marten in Suffolk, while The Way through the Wood is an interpretation of a Kipling poem set to music by Peter Bellamy.

The Thresher’s Daughter is a fine version of a song sometimes known as Betsy the Serving Maid and there are some jaunty English dance tunes such as Black Joak/Blue Joak.  

Playing fiddle, concertina and melodeon, Christian gives us a raw, stripped-back but ultimately beautiful album.

Terra Lightfoot
Consider the Speed
(Sonic Union)
★★★★

TERRA LIGHTFOOT is a Canadian singer-songwriter who's hard to rigidly categorise. With elements of folk, country, blues and soul, the term “roots” singer, infused with the spirit of Americana, might be more encompassing.

This, her fourth album, was recorded in Memphis last year at a studio used by artists including Ann Peebles and Al Green, and there is certainly a soulful feel to proceedings.

On opener Called Out Your Name, followed by the title track and the gospel-sounding Two Wild Horses, there’s some impressive guitar playing, giving a stadium-type feel to the sound.

Lightfoot has supported legendary artists such as Willie Nelson and Bruce Cockburn on tour, but on the strength of this album she is clearly emerging as a great artist in her own right.

Paul Ruane
Sound
(Independent release)
★★★★★

PAUL RUANE was a Newcastle-based musician but with parents originally from County Mayo in Ireland.

An accomplished fiddle player and music teacher, he was well known on the folk scene in the north-east but sadly died of cancer some four years ago.

This album has been released to pay tribute to his memory and the inspiration he provided to many young musicians. Featuring himself and his wife Dee, there are also contributions from friends and daughters Celia and Eva.

This could have been a mournful album, but the 11 instrumental tracks are actually a joyous collection of tunes such as Rocky Road to Dublin and The Gallant Boys of Tipperary, with each track in fact a collection of two or three different tunes.  

A loving and fitting tribute to, and celebration of, a life lived in music.

 

 

 

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