Stuart Trotter - Old, New, Borrowed & True

Published Thursday 20th August 2009
Stuart Trotter - Old, New, Borrowed & True
Stuart Trotter - Old, New, Borrowed & True

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 82514-13006
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Tom Lennie

I'm wondering if the 2010s decade are going to be as devoid of old hymn rearrangements as the last decade-and-a-half has been saturated with them. This collection from Glasgow-based longstanding singer/songwriter Trotter seems like a low-budget equivalent of Bart Millard's 'Hymned Vol 1', in that the Scotsman picks his favourite old hymns (along with a couple of newies) and delivers them in semi-acoustic fashion to a variety of musical styles, for both fun and effect. "What A Fellowship" has ragtime/bluegrass overtones while "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" has a funky-blues edge and is graced by Craig Dunsmore's trumpet and trombone. The most prominent mood, however, is Celtic-folk - notably on the gorgeous "Abide With Me", "My Jesus I Love Thee" and "Psalm 23", the latter two done to unusual melodies, and the melody "Psalm 23" being written by Stuart's long-time friend and Celtic maestro, Sammy Horner, who also recorded and produced this album. With a couple of tracks, however, although sung well, I can't help recalling more outstanding versions; eg from Kathryn Scott and Brian Houston regarding tracks two and five respectively. One of the most interesting songs on this disc is Horner's and Trotter's "Victory In Defeat", one of two self-composed songs found here, with its atmospheric mood. Just as Millard saved his best song till last (the sublime, stripped down "Old Rugged Cross", which Trotter also renders here), so one of the simplest and most moving tracks on this disc is the closing, little-heard "Search Me, O God", composed by the unlikely J Edwin Orr, better known for his outstanding research into evangelical revivals worldwide. An interesting and varied collection from a veteran north-of-the-border musician.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Lainy Johnston in Clydebank @ 03:31 on Apr 6 2010

Uncle Stuart Old Rugged Cross means so much to us & you singing that at my dads funeral meant the world to us love you so much Lainy xxx.

Posted by Caitlin M#1 in Dalmarnock @ 21:33 on Mar 29 2010

he is awrt sometimes and his song our god the mighty king is good [if your reading this dont think i really like your music!!] LOL x

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