|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1 cm|
CD Review by Chris Spencer
I’m loathe to describe Duncan Chalmers as an uncomplicated folk singer, in case I denigrate Chalmers.
However, at the performances I have witnessed, he has appeared solo without the backing or support of other musicians.
On this, his second CD, he is accompanied by various instruments, but they’re very much in the background, allowing Chalmer’s voice to be featured on every song.
This is good, Chalmers has an interesting tenor voice and his singing is a treat.
Duncan explains the background to the choice of the songs he has chosen to sing on this album.
He writes, “I gain inspiration from the heroic failures, as well as those who beat the odds and fly their dream… their struggle became the inspiration for those that followed, the songs on this album speak to me of these things”.
He’s included well known covers of various songwriters, “Love Minus Zero” (Bob Dylan), “Cats in the Cradle” (Harry Chapin), “Universal Soldier” (Buffy Saint Marie), “Fields of Athenry” (Pete St John), “Shelter” (Eric Bogle), “Jeannie C” (Stan Rogers) and perhaps the bit more obscure “Kathy’s Song” by Paul Simon.
Traditional songs included are “Blackbird”, “Carrick Fergus” while “Drink to Me”, written in the 17th Century, could also be considered traditional!
There’s also two renditions of songs by Andy Stewart, “Fire in the Glen” and “Fisherman’s Song’.
Chalmers own songs, “Lawrence Hargrave”, about an early Australian pilot, and “Street Kid”, describing the plight of the homeless, follow a similar format to the other material he sings here.
Musicians who have been recruited by producer, Rob Specogna, include members of Wongawilli, Dave de Santi, Graeme Murray; readers would also be familiar with other guest musicians, Chloe Roweth, Johnny Spillane and Lindsay Martin.
If there’s a single niggle with the album, is that Chalmers doesn’t vary the tempo, it’s all lilting, laidback, almost quiet.
A couple of rousing upbeat songs might have helped break up the fare, although he gets a bit enthusiastic on “Shelter” at times!
But I particularly enjoyed “Cats in the Cradle” and his versions of “Fields of Athenry” and “Carrick Fergus”.
Recommended for those who enjoy the music of a ‘traditional’ folk singer.
2 in stock (can be backordered)