Martin Stephenson and the Daintees “Gladsome, Humour & Blue 30” (Barbaraville Records 2018)

Revisiting old glories is a tricky business. We all know of tracks re-recorded that fail to match treasured originals or albums where a revisitation of a classic is the loss leader for some rum stuff, so it was with a mixture of apprehension and intrigue that this reviewer picked up the copy of the Martin Stephenson and the Daintees ‘Gladsome, Humour and Blue’.

But be not afeared, dear listener, for this is special stuff. An acknowledged ‘classic’ from 1988 this re-recording just polishes up a very smart thing for future generations. ‘Wholly Humble Heart’ still beats with righteous indignation, ‘Goodbye John’ with its stream of consciousness and stunning lead guitar is worthy of the man it was written about ( John Martyn), ‘I Pray‘ has a lilt and a swing that is both seductive and intimate even in the delightful chorus with its jazzy inflections, ‘Old Church’ is a intricate, affecting narrative concerning a building not a creed. A love song by any other name. This is a songwriter’s album delivered with a melancholy bliss and a sense of musicality well beyond Stephenson’s age of twenty four when originally recorded. 

This version is for fans both new and old. Drink it in and then go and see him on tour!

8/10

Summary

Marvellous revisiting of essential 80s album

Author: Keith Hargreaves

Riding the one eyed horse into dead town the scales fell from his eyes. Music was the only true god at once profane and divine The dust blew through his mind as he considered the offering... And then he scored it out of ten and waited for the world to wake up

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