Hear ye! The crier's back in town, and he's changed his tune. At the dawning of this new day, "Come my love, my artless one," is what you hear gently on the air. This could only be the cry of Alasdair Roberts. As he wends the winding path of his every-evolving discography, Alasdair's traveling mostly solo this time - but the solo performances are augmented in passing moments. Listen to the effect on this marvelous preview track, "Artless One" - a solo voice and guitar, but accompanied at times by bass clarinet, tin whistle and and - most magnificently - harmony chorus (courtesy of The Crying Lion), all of which draw textures out of Alasdair's masterful guitar playing and what must surely be his finest vocal performances to date.
As given to a set of traditional songs as a collection of his own originals, Alasdair has rightly chosen original songs for his forthcoming, self-titled effort. The ten songs of this new album feel very close to his heart, and are rendered almost tenderly. With the sheer number of songs from centuries past in his head, it isn't unusual for Ali to launch his melodies from one of the auld songs - and in the case of "Artless One," the starting point is "The Rigs of Rye" (listen again!). Unlike the syncretic epics of his previous album, A Wonder Working Stone, the songs of Alasdair Roberts use the melodies to explore inner terrain with soulful brevity. As with "Artless One," arrangements for the rest of the album emerge from the rich resonance of Alasdair's guitar with the magic that only acoustic instruments can bring. Equal parts soothing and stimulating, "Artless One" promises a season of pleasureable listening in January 2015, when Alasdair Roberts rolls into town again.
Alasdair Roberts live:
11/28/14 The Ivy House London United Kingdom
12/18/14 The Workman’s Club Dublin Ireland
12/20/14 Dynamo Turku Finland
12/22/14 Pori Public Library Pori Finland
2/27/15 Cecil Sharp House London United Kingdom ‘Border Ballads’ with Kris Drever, Lisa Knapp and Naomi Bedford