Reviews

Hughie JonesHughie Jones
Album: Maritime Miscellany
Label: Fellside
Tracks: 12
Website: http://www.fellside.com

Whilst many folk acts and artists that have been performing since the sixties have been recognised with folk awards and MBE's one absence from that list has been The Spinners and their various members, maybe paying the price for being too popularist even though they remained true to what is loosely described as 'the tradition'.

Since the Spinners ceased to be, Hughie Jones has carved himself a successful solo career and "Maritime Miscellany" is the fourth album his has delivered since taking that route. As the title implies there is a real focus on Britain's naval heritage, both merchant and royal.

Whilst some of the songs have working rhythms, "Maritime Miscellany" isn't an album of shanties, it's as much an album of forecastle and songs from the pubs and ports, with a bias towards the North West.

Jones has lost none of the strength and dynamism from his voice, he can really belt out the numbers, whilst still catching all the emotional inflections. He's supported by a fine set of chorus singers, that includes singers from the current generation, like Young Folk Award Winner, Greg Russell, not any irony there at all.

"Maritime Miscellany" includes songs covering everything from the clipper era and beyond, to more recent parts of our maritime history, including some brand spanking new ones penned by Hughie himself. The result is an album that has real stature to it and one that really captures the spirit of the seafarer, a beast that has a camaraderie that stretches back and embraces the previous generations because though the kit may change, the challenges remain the same. The result is an album well worth getting your tin out for.

Neil King

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