Refugee (MOAS Charity)
Eclectic Mix of Left of Centre Artists Combine for a Great Cause.
“Oh no!” You may scream….”not another bloody charity record.” To some degree I agree with you; but as I’ve only ever reviewed one other such beast here; I hope you will trust my taste and judgement with this album.
I’m very careful about what I publicly align myself too; but had no reservations about asking for a copy of this disc when I knew the cause was to aid the the saddening influx of Refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and beyond; especially now it has moved from the front, middle and even the websites of our daily newspapers. But the ‘deal breaker’ was the names that have donated songs to this cause; as I own music by six artists and two more are on my radar; so get comfortable….there aren’t many laughs here.
As the album has been astutely collated by Robin Adams there is a distinctive Scottish flavour to the artists involved, with the opening track How Not To Care, by the ever wonderful Duglas Stewart from RMHQ favourites the BMX Bandits is a rather lovely bittersweet love song, about the aftermath of a break up that sort of sets the tone for what is to follow.
Another name that has several albums on our shelves is Ricky Ross (Deacon Blue) who has donated one of his finest solo songs Baby What’s To Know; which in some circles is worth the entry fee alone.
One of the first songs I wanted to hear was Witchseason by the enigmatic Linda Thompson. A deep, dark and brooding piano piece; with Linda’s rich and expressive voice reminding me what a great singer and indeed songwriter she has always been.
Somehow I’d missed Bonnie Prince Billy’s name on the Press Release but his unmistakeable voice stopped me dead in my tracks when it filtered out of the living room speakers. Listening to this 3 minutes of brittle beauty had me again wondering why this chap isn’t filling The Albert Hall or such. There’s no justice in the world!
Another name that may be known to you is Roddy Hart; a firm favourite of several Rocking Magpie associates and again; his choice of song is a sad one; but what else would you expect on a record like this? The song itself; West like so many others here absolutely showcases his talents in just under 4 minutes.
Among the other tracks here there are a couple of absolute gems from singers I’ve not heard of; Jenny Lysander has stolen my heart with The Horn Still Blows, Rick Redbeard has a lovely voice and his piano led ballad Postcards had me checking his website for more information; it was a similar story with the gentle Celtic-Americana of Mike & Solveig with their song Ravioli.
There’s nothing here to skip over but for me there are two amazing stand out tracks; both for very, very different reasons.
A Geordie lad, and ‘friend of the Jumping Hot Club’ Richard Dawson closes the album with a track called To The Sea. I will best describe Richard as ‘an acquired taste’ but the inclusion of this this brave track not only shows what great taste young Mr Adams has; but hopefully will bring my hirsute friend’s music to the ears of a wider audience.
Which brings us to Robin Adams song itself; The Devil’s War and God’s Blue Sea; the one song that deliberately talks about the issue itself; and boy Robin doesn’t shirk from the subject matter.
If you are a cheapskate; but still love great Folk songs; download this song alone; but if you can….and you really should; download or buy the whole thing; you won’t regret it, apart from having to buy further albums from your new discoveries.
Plus; it’s a great cause that has already touched our hearts; now let it touch your bank balance.
Pre-order the album here – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id1105992272?app=itunes
Released June 3rd 2016