“Singing the River” by Paul Davis

January 06, 2011
Quality American grassroots artistes rightly glory in what they call their “Americana” musical roots genre. In the UK, I’d like to birth the “Britannica” musical folk-genre for our quality grassroots artists. Top-of-the-crop would be this outstanding Scot, Ian Walker. Visually, the stunning artwork and notes from Alastair McDonald rightly promote this hearty album that contains a healthy dose of self-penned, inspiring down-to-earth ballads. Ian’s plain-spoken, creative lyrics cut to the core-of-the-matter against a background of competent folk sessioners produced by Ian Bruce. Well recorded and produced, this sharp-voiced balladeer has a plentifully warm, appealing sound that captures attention immediately. Firmly into story-ballad material that’s gently evangelistic, clear, direct, and honest, Ian’s contexts are illustrative. Very welcome, he must extend his reputation with this CD, fully paying his dues. Highlight tracks are multiple, his earthy art carves a unique path on this rootsy album. He records songs-of-reality with good stories straight-from-the-heart. Like a guided missile that seeks out its target, he has a ‘good ear for a good ballad’ as this CD clearly illustrates. Watch out for it! Paul Davis