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David Kidman David Kidman
Album: Songs Worth The Singing
Label: Moorsongs
Tracks: 16

I do like a performer with a manifesto, it's normally a sure sign that what you are about to listen to is believed in passionately and that's certainly the case with David Kidman and his recently released album "Songs Worth The Singing". That David is passionate about acoustic music is beyond dispute, he writes for a number of publications, including this one, but that passion takes on another gear when he talks about a personal subject, revival singing.

There was a time when revival singing had a religious connotation, but more often these days it is taken as shorthand for unaccompanied singing, something which outside of choirs and the possible exception of shanty, is becoming a dying art and David Kidman's point is that it doesn't need to, there is something to be said for enjoying singing for singing's sake, the communication of the song being more important than the delivery.

A lot of the damage was done back in the late sixties, early seventies by the Aran Sweater crowd, but the time has long since past when we should put that behind us and look to a bright future of unaccompanied song that can happen almost anywhere and in many different styles, a point that he makes very well on the album, recording both traditional or at least traditionally styled and more contemporary songs, most noteworthy of which is a cover of the Richard Thompson classic, "Beeswing".

Without the instrumentation it really does focus the listener on the narrative of the song, really bringing out nature of the subject matter, detached from the excellent instrumentation. All of the songs just feature David Kidman and it has to be said, he's not always note perfect, but that's not the point, the joy of revival singing is the pleasure of it and the album is certainly good enough to deliver the manifesto that singing doesn't have to be perfect, get out there and enjoy yourself, sing for singing's sake, be it songs better done in small groups or solo.

The album is a bit of a calling card, revival singing is meant to be enjoyed live and hopefully it will get David workshops and gigs, more importantly, hopefully it will inspire people to get out there singing. As both David and album show, there really isn't a restriction on what, when and where there should be song, as long as "Songs Worth The Singing".

Neil King