A Review of the Jez Lowe & The Bad Pennies CD
"Tenterhooks: The Art Edition"

"Tenterhooks: The Art Edition"
by Jez Lowe & The Bad Pennies

Tantobie Records TTRCD106
copyright 2005 Lowe Life Music

This review is written by Dai Woosnam, daigress@hotmail.com, 8/05

Well, this is a pleasant surprise. Perhaps Jez Lowe's most underrated album finally gets a re-issue on his Tantobie Records label. And not before time, and with special art-work exclusive to this edition by County Durham artist Tom McGuinness.

The original album was issued on the Green Linnet label back in 1996. It arguably contains some of his best songs: and incontrovertibly is an album very strong on melody. And if all that was not enough, we have the addition of six bonus tracks here. They are the half-dozen best cuts from the (long unavailable) 1994 album “Banners”.

Jez is joined by that most sparkling of Bad Pennies' groupings: Billy and Bob Surgoneur and Bev Sanders. Bev's understated harmonies work so well ­ gosh, how I have missed them ­ and whilst there is no Jez masterpiece here like “The High Part of the Town”, there are some very engaging songs like “Sweep Horizons Clean”, Song of the Indian Lass”, “Alibi Child” (Bev delivers this beautifully) and “The Guilts” with its very singable hook.

But the two best numbers are surely the title song, and the closing medley (before the bonus tracks). That medley has an abridged version of the traditional “Here's The Tender Coming” that went down very well with me: when I first heard it, it was the first time I had heard that song in 20 years and NOT wished I was listening to Dave Burland.

And that is praise indeed.

Dai Woosnam

Grimsby, England.

Track List:

All songs by Jez Lowe, except Workhouse (Lowe/Sanders/Surgeoner); Felton Lonnen (trad with additional words by Johnny Handle); Here's the Tender Coming (trad).

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