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ERIC BOGLE - "I Wrote This Wee Song" - Greentrax CDTRAX082D

This is a double CD recorded live at a final concert of a long tour. It avoids the trap that so many live CD's fall into where by editing out the between song chat they miss the attraction of a live performance and also lose the benefits of studio facilities. Here the introductions add to the songs, the audience interaction comes over well and the CD could be used as a lesson in how to record a live concert.

There is no doubt that Eric is one of the "great" songwriters and with such a prolific output is easy prey for critics who leap on to his more lightweight songs. In this "concert" we get 24 of Eric's songs and in a live setting the mix works well to highlight the songs that really strike home.

It is too much to ask for a great writer to be also an equally great singer or guitarist but despite Eric's limitations, he is a powerful performer who knows how to reach an audience. His performance of his own songs such as "Leaving Nancy" may not have the technical gloss of some of those who have now recorded his songs, but few can match the emotion that Eric brings to his own songs in live performance.

If you have only heard the cover versions of Eric's classic songs such as "Leaving Nancy", "Now I'm Easy" or "No Man's Land" I'd recommend this album. You'll find a new breath of life in them. As an example of how live recordings can translate to satisfying CD's this is one of the best I have heard.

Pete Heywood

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The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 10 of The Living Tradition magazine.