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JOHN WRIGHT BAND "Pages Turning" Greentrax Recordings CDTRAX177

This is the third album from the John Wright Band and will surely delight their many devoted fans. The eleven songs are all contemporary ones, penned by songwriters within the folk scene in Britain, Ireland and North America. Vocalist John Wright has this knack of finding superb songs and with the help of his two musical colleagues, giving these the John Wright Band treatment.

John's voice has a powerful but mellow sensitivity which both grips and moves listeners. Fiddle and guitar support offer a smooth and sympathetic accompaniment. For me, the slow numbers highlight the group's strength. This is evident for example in their rendition of Allan Taylor's poignant song "Middle Time". The song tells of the middle time between the blossoming and fading of life's events. Listen to John's singing and the lyrics come alive, the meaning is all so clear.

There are many other wonderful songs on the album. Ones I particularly like are Mike Silver's "Not A Matter Of Pride", Beth Neilsen Chapman's "Sand And Water" and John Gorka's "Love Is Our Cross To Bear". There is one instrumental, entitled "Hermitage Water To Kinzigtal", a beautiful slow air for fiddle and guitar composed by group members Stewart Hardy and Kenny Spiers.

For those who are new to the music of the John Wright Band, this album is certainly worth buying; for fans it is an essential purchase.

Dave Dewar

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This album was reviewed in Issue 34 of The Living Tradition magazine.