Reviewed by Ian Hayter
Songs based on the Psalms are usually either very reflective, or bouncy and full of praise (or possibly, if you're Boney M, inappropriately disco). Sheffield-based Trefor's second album, the follow-up to 2007's 'Fairweather', brings a chunk of raw emotion to the biblical lyrics. After an upbeat, country-tinged "Seen You In The Sanctuary", he brings a powerful blues feel to some of the Psalms of lament such as "By The Rivers Of Babylon" and "How Long Will You Forget Me?" and a slightly more upbeat, but still very raw atmosphere to a few of the more joyful Psalms ("Sing To The Lord", "I Love The Lord"). The lyrics are pretty well as you'd read them in the Bible, with few embellishments and no great tinkering with the structure. Trefor himself plays guitar, piano, keyboards, harmonica and accordion, with help from Roo Walker on electric guitar, Aron Bicskey on drums and Andy Baker and Stu Chalmers on bass. But it Jones' voice which is his greatest asset. Sounding as if he drinks battery acid, or has been smoking extra strength untipped cigarettes since his childhood, it is a voice specially chiselled to sing the blues and the gravelly expression he brings to these Psalms perfectly complements the deep emotions expressed by the psalmists. Joined by Philippa Hanna on the opening song, Mr Jones' vocal power and his ability to wring real emotion from what were originally deeply emotional songs set this album apart. Get hold of a copy if you can and hear the Psalms come alive as they were meant to do.
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