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David Rotheray - Answer Ballads

  by Tony Gaughan

published: 15 / 10 / 2013

David Rotheray - Answer Ballads
Label: Navigator Records
Format: CD


Unusual concept album on second solo release from Beautiful South co-founder David Rotheray, who with an arsenal of guest vocalists including Kathryn Williams, Alasdair Roberts and Lisa Knapp has compiled a set of songs in answer to a series of classic singles

‘Answer Ballads’ is a follow-up to the critically-acclaimed 'Life of Birds' solo album from David Rotheray, who was a co-founder of the Beautiful South. He engages again some of the guest artists from that album and recruits a few more for this concept album, which breaks all the rules of a concept album. Rotheray curates and directs a collection of songs which directly give reply to characters such as Roxanne from the Police hit with Kathryn Williams, Daniel from the Elton John number with Kris Drever, and even Mrs Avery with Jackie Oates from the 1972 Dr Hook hit, ‘Sylvia's Mother’. Mary Coughlan and Alasdair Roberts among others were sent songs or ideas for contribution. Both fans of folk music and Beautiful South purists will enjoy this. For others though the thirteen songs may prove to be a bit too much. It certainly requires a few listens to appreciate what Rotheray is trying to achieve with this project. ‘Mrs Jones’ featuring Lisa Knapp opens the album and tackles the Billy Paul original, while Kathryn Williams (as Roxanne) spurns the advances of Sting (Who wouldn't ?) on ‘Roxanne's Song’. ‘Scottish Folk artist Alasdair Roberts takes on the role of Dino (he of the bar and grill) from Thin Lizzy's ‘The Boys are Back in Town’ and for a finale Jolene from the Dolly Parton number gets her say too via Julie Murphy. The strongest song of the bunch was Gemma Hayes’ answer to the Elkie Brooks hit ‘Pearl's a Singer’. It's an interesting collection worth perseverance

Track Listing:-
1 Mrs. Jones' Song (feat. Lisa Knapp)
2 Maggie's Song (feat. Eliza Carthy)
3 Daniel's Song (feat. Kris Drever)
4 Roxanne's Song (feat. Kathryn W
5 Pearl's Song (feat. Gemma Hayes)
6 Billy-Joe's Song (feat. John Smith)
7 Marie's Song (feat. Josienne Clarke
8 Bobby's Song (feat. Naomi Bedford
9 Lucille's Song (feat. Mary Coughlan
10 Mrs. Avery's Song (feat. Jackie Oat
11 Sylvia's Song (feat. Bella Hardy)
12 Dino's Song (feat. Alasdair Roberts
13 Jolene's Song (feat. Julie Murphy)

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