The song reper­toire of the north­east gets an­other air­ing, hot on the heels of the re­cent

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSI REVIEWS - SIOB­HÁN LONG JOE BREEN

In­de­pen­dent re­lease

Louth Mouths from Drogheda. Both that and The Blue Cuckoo fea­ture The Voice Squad’s Gerry Cullen, who gath­ers an in­trigu­ing col­lec­tion of songs, many of them in­ti­mately con­nected with his home county of Louth. Through a com­bi­na­tion of pi­caresque tales ( Bold Do­herty), his­tor­i­cal ac­counts ( Napoleon’s Lamen­ta­tion) and alt.read­ings of well-worn sta­ples ( The Wild Rover), Cullen breathes life anew into his cho­sen song col­lec­tion. Dis­tilled sleeve notes pay due credit to lo­cal singers, in­clud­ing Pat Usher, Mary Ann Carolan and John Sheil, who passed the songs down the gen­er­a­tions. Cullen even ven­tures a read­ing of St James’s Hospi­tal, a less play­ful ver­sion of St James In­fir­mary, a song long-nur­tured in the New Or­leans tra­di­tion. Singers in search of a fresh per­spec­tive will mine a rich seam here. cd­world. ie

Proper Records “Good things hap­pen to bad peo­ple, but only for a while . . .” Richard Thompson, touch­ing 64, is back with his 40th al­bum. Lit­tle won­der he re­ceived an OBE in 2010, af­ter more than 400 songs, in­clud­ing such high-qual­ity of­fer­ings as The Snow Goose and Sav­ing the Good Stuff for You. The lat­ter, an af­fect­ing bal­lad, closes Elec­tric. A seven-track bonus disc in the deluxe edi­tion also has a few gems, not least an­other poignant bal­lad ( I Found a Stray) and Will You Dance, Char­lie Boy, the ir­re­sistible Ca­jun-ish opener in which fid­dle player Stu­art Dun­can, pro­ducer Buddy Miller and Thompson trade in­ci­sive so­los. It’s not all sparkle – Stuck on the Tread­mill sounds like it – but Thompson re­mains a sin­gu­lar tal­ent, whose knowl­edge of Bri­tish tra­di­tion con­tin­ues to colour his mu­sic. richardthomp­son-mu­sic.com Down­load: Sav­ing the Good Stuff for You, Will You Dance, Char­lie Boy

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