A Review of the Various Artistes CD
"Live! At The Talbot"
"Live! At The Talbot"(Red Kite Records: RKRCD006)
by Various Artistes
Copyright: Red Kite Records 2004
This review is written by Dai Woosnam, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1/05
Thirty years ago I used to stay at “The Talbot” of the CD title,
when visiting the West Wales area in my then profession. In those days
“DEAD! At The Talbot” would have been the only CD I could ever
have imagined emanating from this hotel slap bang in the middle of
nowhere. But times have changed.
Nowadays The Talbot Hotel in Tregaron is synonymous with a very
successful folk/blues LIVE performance scene. Or “roots” as they call
it in their secondary title to this CD. Indeed that parenthetical
title, apart from its neat pun, has the candour to admit that Tregaron
is not exactly at the hub/nexus of Welsh road routes: I laughed out
loud at their description “Roots Off The Beaten Track”! You can say
But golly, Red Kite Records have come up with a CD that is right at the
HEART of all that is new/good on the UK Roots scene these days. All of
the 13 tracks were recorded from LIVE performances at the Talbot in
2003/4, and before one talks about the impressive array of performers,
one must tip one's hat to Martin & Toby Levan for the recording and
mixing. With any compilation album, it is so easy to detect variable
sound quality resulting from different dates of recordings. Not so
here: the sound is A1 from start to finish.
Now for the artistes. There is a preponderance of artistes from the
West. No not West Wales (though it's nice to see that that veteran
Welsh folkie Meic Stevens is still going strong). Try 3,000 miles west
of Wales: try North America! For here we have the real thing: not some
Brits putting on the accent along with the cowboy boots.
We start with Wisconsin's Jeffrey Foucault who sets the standard with
“Crossing Mississippi”. Authoritative guitar and gunslinger's voice.
He's taking no prisoners and is a tough act to follow, but miraculously
all 12 subsequent tracks do not suffer by comparison. The former Mr.
Nanci Griffith, Eric Taylor follows with my favourite cut on the CD: a
strangely brooding mysterious song that does not yield up its meaning
easily, but lodges itself in your head and is never destined for your
Having reviewed an encouraging Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby
album a year-or-two back, I was pleased to see this fine duo delivering
the goods here, and also to see the glorious Anne Hills represented as
one third of the touring trio Faire Winds.
There were several new names to me. One was Lisa Mills from Mobile
Alabama, who blew me away … even if she is clearly the de facto
President of the Janis Joplin Appreciation Society!
And then there's Milwaukee's Peter Mulvey: thoughtful lyrics delivered
in a Loudon Wainwright voice, and with an even better guitar
But it was well-known bluesman Todd Sharpeville & The Blues Barons
who closed the album with some wonderfully powerful, gutsy,
fast-picking blues. Metaphorically speaking
this “hard driving music” helped us hit the road for the "hard drive"
through the winter snow to the bright lights of … Aberystwyth!
Improbable though it may seem to Tregaron veterans like me, The Talbot
Hotel in Tregaron now has a reputation as being perhaps the best Roots
venue in all of Wales. This CD helps reinforce that reputation, and the
gloriously produced liner notes do their bit too to make this a
compilation album to remember.
Buy it at:
- 1. Jeffrey Foucault - Crossing Mississippi 3.45
- 2. Eric Taylor - Hemingway's Shotgun 6.00
- 3. Albert Lee & Hogan's Heroes - Evangelina 4.02
- 4. Keith Frank & Soileau Zydeco - Give Me Just A Little Time 3.21
- 5. Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby - The Snake 4.48
- 6. Kreg Viesselman - Gone To Lewiston - 3.58
- 7. Lisa Mills - The Richest One 3.19
- 8. Imbizo - When I Think About You 5.58
- 9. Peter Mulvey - 29¢ Head - 3.35
- 10. Kris Delmhorst - Hummingbird - 4.19
- 11.Faire Winds - Rocking The Cradle - 3.59
- 12. Meic Stevens A'R Band - Ysbryd Solva (Ghosts of Solva) 5.26
- 13. Todd Sharpville & The Blues Barons - Todd's Intro 7.14
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