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Cohen Braithwaite-KilcoyneCohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne
Album: Outway Songster
Label: WildGoose
Tracks: 11

The name Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne will be familiar to those who have seen that fine band Granny's Attic ,who were nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award in 2014.

In Granny's Attic , Cohen sings and plays melodeon and concertina, alongside George Sansome and Lewis Wood.

"Outway Songster" is Cohen's debut solo album and it really is "solo" as it features Cohen's voice, melodeon and concertina with no embellishments or guest musicians.

Cohen's music is firmly based in the British Tradition and for one so young [he is in his early twenties] he is an astonishingly accomplished performer,with a maturity way beyond his years, in my opinion.

"Outway Songster" is a delightfully eclectic combination of traditional ballads, tunes from the 17th,18th and 19th centuries, popular Victorian songs and one song written by Cohen himself.

The album begins with an assured rendition of "The Ripon Sword Dance Song" which clearly demonstrates what a strong singer Cohen is.

The following "Andrew Rose" is the horrific but true account of how a British sailor is brutally tortured and killed by his own crew and Captain Henry Rogers.Cohen's powerful vocals emphasise the awful fate that befell Rose.

"Thomas Holt" is Cohen's adaptation of the story of a musician from Coventry who , as a 17th century precursor to Robert Johnson, sold his soul to the devil ,with predictably unhappy consequences .

Cohen draws on three typically gory Child Ballads , "Edward", "Babylon" and "Tom the Barber", all of which he delivers with considerable aplomb.

On a jollier note is "The Country Carrier", a Victorian Music Hall song by Harry Clifton ,which is also known as "My Rattling Mare and I". Cohen's exuberant performance does full justice to this lively description of 19th century horse-drawn transport. A real foot-tapper if ever there was ,as is the following "Barbados" ,a jaunty 18th century jig from The Compleat Country Dancing Master.

This highly enjoyable album concludes with "Fireman's Growl" , an account of the life of a fireman on a steam engine which ,unusually, has as its source a set of verses which appeared in The Railway Gazette in the early 20th century.

In conclusion, if you are a lover of traditional British songs and tunes ,you will find much to delight you in this highly accomplished debut solo from Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne.

Peter Cowley