Chris Fox “In Plain Sight”

Independent, 2022

Gentle acoustic folk album enlivened by three tracks with a Latin lilt.

‘In Plain Sight’ is the latest album from singer songwriter Chris Fox. Recorded at Gladeside Recordings in Cambridge – Fox is Cambridgeshire born – the album was produced and recorded by Dan Wilde. Like a lot of albums released in the past year or so, the songs on it were written during lockdown enabling Fox to write about himself and his feelings during those difficult times.

The album is fairly laid back and bucolic with a definite folk vibe and seven of the ten tracks are warm and gentle and sound as if they were recorded by the banks of the River Cam with university students gliding gently by in their punts. However, there are three tracks ‘Better Than That’, ‘Way Up’ and ‘Dance With The Devil’ that have a distinctive Latin feel and could have been recorded in a sultry Latin American country rather than in leafy Cambridgeshire.

Fox, who appeared in the last AUK Twang Factor contest, is a fine songwriter and the lyrics are an eclectic mix. There are songs about an Elvis impersonator, boring jobs, mental health, friendships and the devil! Fox is also a superb singer and his baritone voice is superbly backed on the album by Holly Brandon (The Magpies, Painted Sky) on fiddle and John Parker (Nizlopi, The Willows, Jackie Oates) whose double bass underpins every track. Fox plays excellent, often complex acoustic guitar and the three musicians meld together superbly with Wilde’s production giving each instrument space to breathe.

Fox lists The Mavericks, Paul Simon, John Martyn, Transatlantic Sessions and Willie Nelson amongst his influences and there are echoes of all of those artists – especially Martyn – in the songs and the arrangements. ‘In Plain Sight’ isn’t ground-breaking or earth shattering but it’s a delightful album that will stand the test of time and repeated listening’s.

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