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JIM MALCOLM "Rohallion" Greentrax CDTRAX150

Now that old blue eyes has passed to the great cabaret in the sky, those lost souls searching for some much needed soothing in this chaotic world, can once more reach for the dry martini. All they need do, is play the latest offering from Jim Malcolm, Scotland's very own lounge lizard, and the bum fluff soft tones will ease the pain away. They will need to watch though for just as Jim's voice cradles them sweetly in its arms his lyrics will drop them in a bath of cold water.

Rohallion is Jim's second CD following on from the well received 'Sconeward', and it cements Jim's reputation as the coolest man in folk. Laid back and jazzy may be the overall style but he can still deftly turn his hand to more traditional sounding material as in the version of Jim Ried's cracking song 'The Vinney Den'. He can also write in traditional vein as the opening track proves. "The Battle of Waterloo" lays bare the tragedy of war at the most personal of levels and in the sincerest of ways. This song will be picked up by many others.

Jim's other songs are a delightful mix of love, tragedy and comedy. All are shot through with heavy doses of irony and social comment. The chorus of the whimsical "Serria Whoosh" is a perfect example of this

Sierra whoosh, try to ignore me, big fast empty cars full of busy people, look at me as if I was something evil, just for hitching a ride.

The state of the nation captured in four lines.

Throughout the CD Jim plays brilliantly understated guitar while Dave "att on keyboards and Ian MacFayden on percussion combine to produce a gentle easy backdrop which frames Jim's songs perfectly.

Jim Malcolm may be the coolest man in folk but he is a red hot talent and should be sought out by all with an ear for a good voice and clever song writing.


Chris MacKenzie

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This album was reviewed in Issue 30 of The Living Tradition magazine.