Cloudstreet – Dance Up the Sun
CD review by Graham Seal
Sadly, John Thompson of Cloudstreet passed away in February, 2021.
He leaves a legacy of fine music made with Nicole Murray, on record and at festivals and concerts around Australia, the United Kingdom and Europe.
Noted for superb vocals, with John on guitar and English concertina and Nicole on various flutes, fiddle and percussion, this was Cloudstreet’s third CD.
Dance Up the Sun showcases the numerous talents of Cloudstreet and their eclectic repertoire of Australian and British traditional and contemporary song.
The title track is a Thompson composition based on the tradition of dancing at dawn on Mayday, set to a medley of Morris tunes.
Other songs and tunes from the British songbag include: ‘The Horn Dance’ tune from the famed Abbott’s Bromley custom; Ewan McColl’s ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your face’; a moving lament for Brendan Behan incorporating the classic ‘The Auld Triangle’; as well as an interesting version of the evergreen ‘John Barleycorn’.
The Australian material includes a moving setting of Henry Lawson’s ‘Scots of the Riverina’ by Redgum’s Michael Atkinson, as well as his own song, ‘Killing Floor’.
There is a Thompson adaptation of John Broomhall’s ‘Time is a Tempest’ and a crisp rendering of John Warner’s ‘Miner’s Washing’.
And there are some fine self composed numbers by both Nicole and John, including his parody of ‘I Did It My Way’, a tribute to their UK tour van.
Altogether, these numbers make for a very satisfying listening experience.
Cloudstreet recorded several other CDs, all available at Trad&Now.
Long may he sing.