Album review: DOM PRAG – Needle & Thread

DOM PRAG – Needle & Thread

Website [Release date 04.02.22]

Dom Prag has been steeped in the traditions of the classical guitar since childhood, then learning to play blues and composing songs of his own. He still plays in the classical style, however, his song writing has moved into folk, specifically songs in the storytelling style.

‘Needle & Thread’ is Dom Prag’s second album which was produced by Phil Beer, of Show Of Hands fame. Beer’s production experience certainly helps this album sonically as it highlights the vocals or instrumental passages at just the right times in a song.

His take on the traditional song, ‘The South Medomsley Strike’, is one of many stand outs. Vocally easy on the ear, yet with enough presence to maintain the listener’s interest. Folk music in particular has a great way of incorporating and preserving historical events, as this song does commemorating the miners’ strike of 1885. It even had me looking into this story further to see who the candy crew were. It transpires they were blackleg miners and their name originated when a local candy seller turned blackleg hirer in the early days of North East miners’ strikes.

Tommy Armstrong’s ‘Oakey Strike Evictions’ carries on in a similar vein with a jaunty melody. Not sure who plays the fiddle or adds the female backing vocals, but both add greatly to the song.

The wonderful instrumental ‘The Shoemender’s Tune/George Brabazon, First Air’ leads into ‘The Shoemender’, a look at how the town centres have changed and become a virtual wasteland, save for the ubiquitous Starbucks, nail salons and betting shops.

The title track is a beautiful piece that is both uplifting and thought provoking at the same time, dealing with mental health. His playing is pretty stunning on this one too. ‘Foster’s Mill’ is another one of his own compositions where he is joined by the vocal harmonies of Rowan Piggott and Rosie Hodgeson of The Wilderness Yet.

What a talent Dom Prag has. With the live scene returning, he can resume his live performances which have won him many a rave review. Remember the name as he is an artist on the up and up. Only January, yet this is already a contender for ‘Folk Album of the Year’. ****1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

Tour dates –

28 Feb Folk in the Cellar, Camden

07 Mar Nettlebed folk club

18 Mar Harwell Village Hall

24 Mar Kitchen Garden Café, Birmingham

25 Mar Saltburn folk club

02 Apr Under the Edge Arts

01 May The Met, Bury

Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 20 March 2022 at 21:00 GMT (16:00 EST). Josh’s next session is Sunday 22 May.

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