John Doyle: Wayward Son – John Doyle, guitar and vocals; with special guests Alison Brown, Stuart Duncan, Seamus Egan, Linda Thompson, many others – Compass Records

by | Nov 29, 2005 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews | 0 comments

John Doyle: Wayward Son – John Doyle, guitar and vocals; with
special guests Alison Brown, Stuart Duncan, Seamus Egan, Linda
Thompson, many others – Compass Records 7 4408 2 – 51 min. *****:

This record is the most recent solo effort for John Doyle, the Irish
guitarist and vocalist best known as a founding member of the popular
Irish traditional group Solas. Solas is known for their superb
presentation of traditional music; they also excel in Celtic-tinged
readings of works by artists as diverse as Tom Waits and Nick Drake.
John Doyle was an integral part of the Solas mix, and he carries on
that tradition with Wayward Son, his recent release on the Compass
label.

This one definitely qualifies for my “top ten” list this year. A
stellar cast of special guests ranging from Alison Brown, Liz Carroll,
Seamus Egan, Kate Rusby and Linda Thompson all contribute to John
Doyle’s sensational mix of plaintive ballads and traditional Irish jigs
and reels, including many from his own pen. Highlights abound here;
first and foremost is the incredible fretwork of John Doyle, who coaxes
a really “big” sound from his guitar as he effortlessly shifts through
stylistic changes. Whether it’s the superb playing by the assembly of
folk and Celtic superstars, or plaintive vocals from Kate Rusby’s on
songs such as “Bitter the Parting,” everything about this amazing disc
is completely irresistible!

Sound quality from Compass Records is superb, as always, and this disc
gets my highest recommendation. Miss this one at your own peril!

Tracks: The Gallant Poacher; Jack Dolan; The Glad Eye/The
Journeyman/The Wayward Son; Captain Glenn; Bitter the Parting; Old
Bush/Expect the Unexpected; The Apprentice Boy; Tie the Bonnet/Monahan
Twig/A Fair Wind/The Convenience Reel; The Month of January; Little
Sadie; Eddie Kelly’s/Reavy’s Tribute to Coleman; The Cock’s Are
Crowing.

— Tom Gibbs 
 

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