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MATT MCGINN "The Best Of Mat McGinnt" Greentrax CDTRAX253

Matt McGinn (1928-77) was a songsmith firmly rooted in the Glasgow urban tradition embracing the influences of Broadsides, Music Hall, Children's Street-song, Football Terrace Chants and much more. His output was prodigious and comprehensive. He chipped away at our edifices of absurdity inhumanity and injustice as well as celebrating the good and, not least, our potential for a greater good... Life, i.e. Reality, was at times just too serious to take seriously and Matt was a genius at infusing his work, where appropriate, with a purposeful hilarity and the sharpest of satire.

This album is an amalgam of two vinyl's made in 71 & 72; Take Me Back To The Jungle and Tinny Can on My Tail consisting of 25 tracks, and digitally Remastered. They are all from Matts pen with the exception of Jim McLean's 'Lady Chat' It is easy listening in the best sense with such highlights as the anti-war 'Fire and Sword' and 'Hijack' a brilliant comedy of a round the world excursion via Cuba with a happy ending! The lullaby, 'Tell Me What The Tea Leaves Tell Me' is a delight and the parody 'On The Beach at Portobello' would bring a tear to a glass eye. The highly personal, yet accessible, 'Troubled Waters in My Soul' is this craftsman at his best. This compilation is rich in musical variety as well as topic. Songwriting was for Matt a labour of necessity. For Ian Green, of Greentrax, it has been a "labour of love" It's a job well done.

Geordie Mcintyre

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This album was reviewed in Issue 54 of The Living Tradition magazine.