|SIMON RITCHIE - Squeezebox Schizophrenia X-Tradition Records TMM 1956|
Well, there are several
sides to the playing on this recording. With names like Bob Dylan, Edward
Elgar, Leonard Cohen, Smokey Robinson and Johnny Rotten featured amongst
the credits, balanced against more Traditional-sourced material (including
an appearance from Bob Davenport), there's either going to be a 'knees-up'
or a 'punch-up'. Some listeners and reviewers may take a more confrontational
line: bringing the, "what is folk music?" chestnut back for a reheat.
For me, it's the intention and spirit of any performer that adds the folk
thing/style/bit to any material and this CD is more like the party sessions
I enjoy so much. If the ice breakers, Move Over Darling and Sweets For
My Sweet, prove a challenge for some, their parameters may need totally
resetting after Cohen's Hallelujah, and Sex Pistols' Anarchy In The UK.
All these are great fun as are, Rivers of Babylon and, Tracks of My Tears.
Simon Ritchie has a strong, confident voice and singing style adaptable
enough to take on both the modern and the traditional. The more Traditional
side includes a great, Edmund In The Lowlands Low with Bob Davenport and
Rodger Digby; the epic Banks Of Sweet Dundee; yet another track that won't
make Mike Harding's playlist - the audience-stunning, Nobby Hall; the
joyous Roving Gypsy and the totally non-pc, Duck Foot Sue. Various melodeons
have been used in this CD and for all the songs that are included here
this is very much a melodeon driven recording as proved by two of the
best tracks - the up tempo Sheer Joy, Simon Ritchie's own composition
and Edward Elgar's The Wagon Passes.