A Review of the Rory McLeod CD
"Songs For Big Little People"

"Songs For Big Little People"
by Rory McLeod

Talkative MusicTALK003

This review is written by Dai Woosnam, daigress@hotmail.com, 8/07

It is a few years now since I last saw Rory McLeod in live performance. But it wouldn't matter if it was a hundred. There is no danger of my forgetting him: he is assuredly a “once seen never forgotten” act, if ever there was one!

This 2007 CD tells us he is still going strong. Still singing almost all the parts and playing all the musical instruments (shades of Stevie Wonder!). Still tackling a whole gamut of issues in his self-penned songs and monologues.

Rory says in his notes: “It's kind of a kid's album, but not in the sense of Nursery Rhymes and ‘patronising kids', there's some darkness here too … Maybe it's more of a kids and parents' album.”

Spot-on, Rory. Except I'd go further. You bring out the KID in the parent. And you do it with a mixture of good imagery in the children's songs, and the 110% effort in your delivery.

Now to the crunch. Are there any songs here that will have legs and be sung by our children's GRANDchildren?

Probably not. Do not expect a Woody Guthrie of a children's song writer. Rory will be the first to tell you he ain't.

But by golly, not for nothing did Rory win Best Live Act at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2002. Such is his Live Act, that he is in demand at a number of festivals this summer. And that wonderful energy and his sheer eclecticism of his, transmit themselves well to this CD.

He is a multi-instrumentalist with all sorts of musical influences. Those influences have made him the fine performer he is.

And he ain't just a musician. He is a fine storyteller.

The best track on the album is the longest (at 9:36), viz. his re-telling of the story made famous by Duncan Williamson and also by Taffy Thomas: “Death In A Nutshell”.

But above all – on this CD as elsewhere – the abiding feeling is of Rory's bluesy harmonica and breathless delivery, ruling the roost.

If “the bluesy” was “the boozy”, Rory would be drunk all the time. As it is though, he makes us - his audience – drunk. Intoxicated by his sheer SPIRIT.

Dai Woosnam
Grimsby, England

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