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VIN GARBUTT - "Bandalised" - HRC D009

Funny old world isn't it? In the space of a week or so I've come across two reviews of Vin's latest which give extremely opposing views. Whilst "Folk Roots" were less than lukewarm about this album - poor social commentary, strangulated or wavering voice or whatever, - the "Daily Telegraph" (I kid you not) writhed with excitement at their discovery of a great talent, etc. etc.

or my money, any day that a Vin Garbutt album is released is a red letter day and this is no exception. Skilfully using a band for the third album in succession Vin weaves the usual magical blend of tunes and songs that, as a reflex action, have me reaching for my wallet. Overall I wished there had been slightly more vocals and a little less instrumentals (Folk Roots wished exactly the opposite, proving only that different people have different tastes and nothing terribly more profound than that!).

The album sets a high standard throughout without that magical track that socks it to you right between the eyes taking place, as "The Bloom of the Broom" did on his previous outing or "Absent Friends" on the one before. A plateau of excellence isn't a bad place to be stranded on, however, and that's the feel of this album. Of particular interest (to me at any rate) was Vin's treatment of "The Flower of Dunblane" and his rehabilitation of "The Rose of Tralee" synonymous for too long with gin soaked, tear soaked, maudlin pub singers.

ince getting up his own label, the relative rarity of a Garbutt release seems to be a thing of the past, and goodies like this now seem to be a regular events.

At least there's some sense in the universe ...

Hector Christie

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This album was reviewed in Issue 7 of The Living Tradition magazine.