Album review: DAVID ROTHERAY – Answer Ballads

Navigator Records (released October 14th)

Former Beautiful South guitarist David Rotheray has produced a star studded album based on a novel premise, that of a collection of songs where he writes an ‘answer ballad’ (or what happened next) to classic songs. The guest list is rather impressive featuring Eliza Carthy, Kathryn Williams and Mary Coughlan amongst others.

There are many highlights, however three real stand outs personally are ‘Mrs Jones Song’ sung by Lisa Knapp and what a lovely, soothing voice she has. This song is a sad follow on to ‘Me & Mrs Jones’ and harks back to classic Joni Mitchell in the arrangement and lyrics. Eliza Carthy never disappoints and is on fine form on ‘Maggie’s Song’, a follow on from Rod Stewart’s hit ‘Maggie May’. Final one of the three is ‘Bobby’ Song’, a jaunty little tune that takes in the earlier life of Bobby from the song ‘Me & Bobby McGee’. Naomi Bedford sings on this one and her bright, breezy vocal suits the suit perfectly.

Given the various vocalists involved the album holds together well and with songs ranging from folk through to gentle pop tunes it has that mass appeal.

****

Review by Jason Ritchie


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