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Sleeve not available
STEVE TILSTON "And So It Goes" Hubris HRCD 01

The term "singer/songwriter" is oft used, and oft abused, but in Steve Tilston we there is a rare combination of singer, songwriter, and guitarist, who excels in each area, as he ably demonstrates on this superbly crafted album.

If you have seen Steve performing live recently (and if not, why not?) you will find much of the material on this CD familiar. The atmospheric "Soon Comes the Rain", it's South American rhythms enhanced by the pan pipes and charango from Incantation's Tony Hinnigan; the gently evocative "Don't Blame the Wind"; the traditional "Dowie Dens of Yarrow", or the plangent melancholy of the title track, "And So It Goes" - nothing is wasted, nothing left to chance. He uses words carefully, with precision, and that same attention to detail is also to be found in his music. Hear the strong classical musical influences on the instrumental "Enter the Tooth Fairy", or pick-up on the homegrown walking blues of "Back Where I Came From". The strings of the cello and violin on "Is This the Same Boy" follow the driving guitar of "Can't Shake These Blues" (co-written with American blues guitarist Chris Smither), with Tilston moving fluidly, seamlessly, from one genre to another.

What else is there? Lots! "Skegness", a brilliant tune with an intriguing choice of name. "Goodbye to the Snow" and "Blues for the North Wind" with their references to the weather - a theme which seems to recur in the album. The rather unpredictable structure of words and phrasing on "Lilyponds" which gently fades the album.

Steve is accompanied by Maggie Boyle on flute and bohdran, Richard Curran on violin, Tony Hinnigan on pan-pipes, charango, and cello, and Chris Newman on acoustic guitar and bass. Chris also engineered the recording at Old Bridge Music Ilkley and an absolutely excellent job he's made of it too!

For the guitarists amongst you the "sleeve" notes have not only the words but also all the relevant tunings, although I have a sneaking feeling that a very high skill level will be needed to emulate the sounds on this CD which looks set to win wide critical acclaim!

Mel Howley

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