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Jim Moray
01. Leaving Australia
02. Rufford Park Poachers
03. Three Black Feathers
04. All You Pretty Girls
05. Lucy Wan
06. Across the Western Ocean
07. I'll Go List For A Sailor
08. Fanny Blair
09. Henrys Downfall
10. Valentine

Jim Moray – Low Culture

 

Jim Moray is one of England’s most innovative young folk artists; his previous albums have divided opinions, critically they were huge successes, but while they had moments of brilliance there were elements that were step too far for many listeners (personally, I thought they were interesting and thoughtful but they were too disjointed and didn’t really work for me).

Step forward ‘Low Culture’, his third album which is where it all comes together into a magnificent collection of 10 songs (plus bonus track); the traditional songs are seamlessly mixed with contemporary arrangements, resulting in songs that feel fresh, relevant and even though the folk roots are proudly on display, this is as accessible and contemporary as any folk album you could wish to hear. 

The album is predominantly traditional material, but mixed in with covers of Bella Hardy’s beautiful ‘Three Black Feathers’, and a brilliant reading of the XTC classic ‘All You Pretty Girls’; the skill of Moray is in bringing everything together into an album where the track choices and more importantly the arrangements fit together without feeling out of place; the way he weaves popular culture into traditional music (and vice versa) without discriminating between the two is refreshing and perfectly realised. 

Moray has an excellent voice that is as comfortable with acoustic ballads as it is with full on rockier numbers, and there are strong echoes of Seth Lakeman in many of his vocals (‘Rufford Park Poachers’ being the perfect example).

Jim provides much of the instrumentation on the disc including melodeon, guitar, violin, bass, but the album is full of guest musicians and instrumentation, notably on ‘All You Pretty Girls’ where the vocals of Roy Bailey, Nancy Kerr, James Fagan, Tim van Eyken and Jim Causley turn a well-known song into a Bellowhead-like fabulous sea-shanty!

Where his previous two albums may have been too experimental for the casual listener and certainly too much for many trad. folkies, ‘Low Culture’ is perfectly balanced and accessible to both traditionalists and those would ordinarily run a mile from folk music - it’s steeped in the tradition but with modern arrangements that feel natural and really fit the songs.  This is an exceptional album and easily the finest folk disc of the year – unreservedly recommended to all.

Jim Moray- LOW CULTURE

Jim Moray

CD (Cat No: 13386)

£12.99
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MORAY JIM - LOW CULTURE

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