Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews

First published in Music

The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.

Pete Seeger,"A Song and A Stone" (Wienerworld WNRD 2588)- This absorbing new DVD from Wienerworld  was filmed in 1972 and traces eighteen months in the life of  American political activist and folk icon Pete Seeger,capturing a blend of live concert recordings and interview material from the period when the radical balladeer was still rather shockingly blacklisted by many major media organisations in the U.S.of A. Johnny Cash and Don McLean both make brief cameo appearances  as Robert Elfstrom's rarely seen documentary  offers a revealing insight into Seeger's life and work,including passionate  performances of much loved protest anthems such as  "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" and "We Shall Overcome."

"Lipstick,Powder & Paint: A Decade of Girls 1953-1962" (Fantastic Voyage FVTD194)- This mildly eccentric collection of recordings from the decade which preceded The Beatles showcases the work of a whole host of long forgotten female performers from both sides of the Atlantic.Compiler Austin Powell has also found space for early offerings from the likes of Carole King and Nancy Sinatra  alongside some bona fide musical gems from  The Shirelles,The Chantels and The Marvelettes,who chip in with their infectious 1962 hit ,"Beechwood 4-5789."

 

Alex Hodgson,"The Brig Tae Nae Where" (Greentrax CDTRAX 382)-  Alex Hodgson's  second Greentrax  album  finds the highly regarded Scottish singer-songwriter  wearing his heart proudly on his sleeve as he serves up his poignant recollections of summer holidays long ago via affecting ditties such as "A Summer Tale" and "The Brig Tae Nae Where" itself. Alex also sings the praises of his East Lothian home in "The Toun O' Prestonpans" and reveals his qualities as an interpretative vocalist as he breathes new life into Robert Burns' "My Luv' Is Like a Red Red Rose" and Ewan MacColl's classic "The Shoals O' Herrin'." Splendid stuff.

 

Zoco Duo,"Historias" (Cala CACD77018)- This highly evocative collaboration between guitarist  Jacob Cordover and oboe and cor anglais player Laura Karney finds them  bringing their unique sound to bear  on compositions from  Spain,France ,Italy and South America. Their eclectic approach to music-making informs  thoughtful arrangements of everything from Argentine tango specialist Astor Piazzolla's "Cafe 1930" to Manuel de Falla's ascetic "Siete canciones populares espanolas" ,and the duo also immerse themselves in the charms of  works by composers such as Rodrigo,Giuliani and Ravel with equally impressive results.

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