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JOHNNY SILVO & DIZ DISLEY "Blues in the Backyard" Fellside FECD143

It would be very easy to be disparaging of Johnny Silvo. I do not intend to be. The folk scene owes a great debt to the old folk entertainers of the 1960s. Not only did they gig hard, attracting many people to the glories of folk music, but they were often the hardest workers when it came to clubs and concerts.

Silvo, let us remember, played a big part in first getting Sandy Denny into the recording studio. While we may have become snobbish about his style of anglo-country-blues over the 70s and 80s, modern thinking tends to support his view that this music is just as valid as that of Cecil Sharpe's source singers.

This is in many ways a reprise of the songs that Silvo has sung over the years. Even those that weren't always part of his repertoire sound as if they have been. He has always been a better live artiste than on record, but the typical crisp Fellside production here works to his strengths, and also brings out the master guitar of Disley.

This album contains fifteen tracks, including "Easy Rider", "Pallet on the Floor", "St Louis Blues" and "Frankie and Johnny". Uncomplicated and pleasant, like the paperback you read when you are too tired to wade into Tolstoy.

Bob Harragan

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