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BILL CADDICK "Winter With Flowers" Fledg'ling Records - Fled 3004

There's always an element of some primeval spirit which Bill Caddick seems to inspire. Sitting with friends around a bonfire or sleeping under the stars. Perhaps it's just the way that I personally approach recordings by this particular artiste. Nobody else seems to conjure up these images - but then again Bill Caddick is a unique entity. However, having said that, I found much of this offering tiresome. Too much clutter on half of the tracks. At least twenty percent of the lyrics could be classed as self-indulgent drivel or pompous ramblings - depending upon your point of view. Although most of the tracks are guitar-led, the diversity of backing instruments makes this a difficult album to classify. The high point for me was the final track which starts off as a Morris tune with Dobro and re-introduces most of the instruments heard on the previous fourteen tracks. Ten out of ten for production trickery dickery. Four out of ten for inspiration. I'm afraid that I'd probably prefer just Bill Caddick and a guitar giving a straightforward delivery perhaps as a live album. This is an artiste who thrives in the intimate setting of a folk club. Mind you, all you Bill Caddick addicts have doubtless been eagerly awaiting this album and will probably already be in possession of a copy - and are more than likely approaching his material from a different direction from myself (and have every right to disregard my views). My advice to the rest of you is to persevere with this album since it does grow on you by the third or fourth listening - but don't expect the lyrics to change the world.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 12 of The Living Tradition magazine.