Ian Walker - Singing The River

Published Sunday 29th September 2013
Ian Walker - Singing The River
Ian Walker - Singing The River

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 144198-21159
LABEL: Independent
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

Scottish folk singer/songwriter and banjo player Ian Walker has been plying his trade the length and breadth of the country since the '60s and his latest album makes it clear why his career is still going strong. Once again pooling resources with long-term collaborator and multi-instrumentalist Ian Bruce, Walker's latest work has its roots firmly planted in the rich soil of the Scottish folk scene whilst offering something just that little bit different to grab the attention of the passing listener. Proceedings kick off with the stripped back multi-vocal and banjo-led "Tonight Has Given Me Wings" to set the scene for an album that pays tribute to God's grace whilst putting across a positive slant on life before the joyous mandolin-festooned title track and the tender "No Fanfare" - a simple ukulele piece on humility of Jesus - ensure that each track is different from the one before. Sensitive songs of praise such as "Still", "Fill This Place" and "Tears On The Cross" cement Walker's standing as a seasoned songwriter and refreshingly proves that worship music doesn't always have to be all guns blazing - the beautifully fragile prayer "In My Mind's Eye" being a case in point. Whilst Walker would struggle to pull off the kind of vocal acrobats achieved by the likes of Westlife, a tender version of the now perennial "You Raise Me Up" surprisingly succeeds whilst a sincere cover of Amanda McBroom's "The Rose" and a rollicking rendition of the old Jackie DeShannon number "Put A Little Love In Your Heart" all showcase Walker's ability to put his own stamp on other people's songs. The breathtakingly bitter sweet Walker/Bruce composition "The Touch And The Go" closes a varied album of sincere and accomplished songs from one of Scotland's most experienced artists.

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