STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 13700-4328 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
This album by the veteran Christian folkie originally came out in 2005 and was quickly reviewed by a Cross Rhythms scribe who clearly didn't get Pete's rather idiosyncratic vocals. In retrospect, the criticisms were rather harsh and I've decided to re-review this set from the 60-something folkie. So, with belated apologies to the Northumberland-based singer/songwriter here's a new review. Discounting Pete's projects with '70s bands, I reckon this is the songsmith's 19th album. Phew! The creative elements that have given the grizzled musical veteran are all in place - a genuinely witty and occasionally poetic way with lyrics, some attractive melodies and a taste for song concepts that only a true original would dare tackle. As examples of the latter we have "Regiments", a wander through a parish church where long dead military leaders are still celebrated with plaques and monuments; "The Poverty Of Plenty", a clever swipe at US power preachers who insist on the right to carry guns; and "Nothing Is Only" which muses on the importance of even the most seemingly trivial event or memory. With such a lyricist's gift it's easy to ignore the deficiencies of Pete's voice. Considering Pete's powerful songwriting talent he doesn't need to resort to covers. The fact that there is one here, alongside the 12 Ryder compositions, means that it has to be a very special song. And indeed it is. Sydney Carter's "Friday Morning" given a passionate reading that ensures that unforgettable "it's God they ought to crucify" line hits with all its power. And there are even a few unexpected entrances of a sitar to bring a bit of variety to the folk arrangements. Yep, Pete kept up his creative track record with this release. Don't believe other reviews!
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