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Flyinshoes Review

Welcome to FSR our Roots Music Reviewers & Pod/broadcasters Community

If you haven’t hosted a House Concert yet, please make it a new year’s resolution!

Why not invite your favourite independent musician to play for your friends family and his fans in your front room, I’ll be surprised if he/she won’t show up sometime this year and play for you, let me know about it and if The Medicine Show Radio Moose Mobile is loose is near enough we’ll come and broadcast it too. If you would like to help keep the wheels on the Hub and on The Moose become a patron at

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This Edinburgh-based folk singer's previous album, Across The Troubled Wave, impressed me with the warmth and integrity of its approach, leaving me with a sense of the seriousness of his intent.  That album, recorded in America, featured David singing other people's songs (including songs attributed to the "tradition") and there was a mix of Scots and American tunes, reflecting David's own mixed heritage. For this new album he has written (almost) all the material himself and returned to Scotland to record with a pretty stellar list of Scots folk musicians. Mattie Foulds produces, Steven Polwart, Adam Sutherland, Kevin McGuire and Kim Edgar grace the tunes with some warm and supple playing whilst the cello added by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's Su-a Lee lends a distinctive air to the album as a whole - the atmosphere frequently comes closer to folk song performed with chamber music than to what you might think of as a folk band. Plenty of folk music - in Scotland especially - has been recorded in this style but maybe it's not so prevalent as it once was.

           All the qualities that were apparent on that earlier album are recaptured here, with the added bonus that that seriousness of purpose has been brought to bear on his songwriting. It's often said that you should write first about what you know best, and David's own life provides the bedrock on which this album is built. I'm an Immigrant (I'm From Here) deals with that mixed heritage mentioned earlier:  Scots born and bred but with an American mother and an Italian grandfather, David is comfortable with his multiple identities, and clearly would like to live in a world where there weren't borders and passports to formalise that universal instinct to divide the world into "us" and "them".  Other songs that are obviously personal deal with childhood experiences or with the ups and downs of relationships and he writes with a straightforward honesty. It's always reflective, at least half a step away from the acute emotions of the moment, but that suits the calm restraint of his vocal style.

             In other songs he puts himself in another's shoes;  sometimes this is to imagine the most personal difficulties  as in the affecting Till Death Do Us Part where a wife is left with a husband whose mind has gone, who "sits all day beside the window, open-eyed lost in a dream".  She wonders if she is a "widow or wife" and anybody who has seen such a situation will understand.  Possibly the strongest song of all is Wildflowers, a definite contender for entering the folk tradition  itself. Srebrenica is not identified by name, but it is almost certainly the massacre of some 8000 Muslims that David has in mind as he focuses on the bizarre and swift way in which a world where people work and play alongside each other, barely aware of religious and ethnic identity, can be torn apart by men of bloody intent.

           Like the arrangements, David's voice is warm and unassumingly straightforward; he has a vibrato that puts me in mind, a little, of Rod Paterson, the great Scots folk singer. David uses that vibrato with restraint; it's there, adding depth and character to his singing, but he doesn't let it intrude on the business of telling the story he wants to tell.  A part of David Ferrard's musical identity is that he's a political activist (Hey! A proper folk singer!) and this album's release coincides with the tenth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. To mark the occasion, the album closes with David's take on Turn!Turn!Turn!. Pete Seeger's tune is used and some of the old words (lifted direct from Ecclesiastes) are there, too. David's additions deal with the melancholic truth that long after the war is declared over, the unexploded bombs and poisoned lands remain to blight the lives of those left to deal with the aftermath.  And then, somebody invents another war to fight: "The war is over, but the wars carry on". It's a really good reinvention of the song, a passing of the protest baton to a new generation: just a shame that, as ever, there remains a need for the protest.

          There is beauty, warmth and a serious thoughtfulness in David Ferrard's music making that adds up to a distinctive contribution to our world, and I believe Journeyman makes a big step towards him being recognised as a very significant folk musician.


John Davy




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The Medicine Show is the home of the House Concert here is our rolling news


This site is the sister site to The House Concert Hub community and has been inherited in the main by kind donation of Shaun Belcher and Trailer Star.

It is the sum total of over ten years of tending a tender love of music by Shaun, a life time with Trailer Star and five or so years of an association with Rob Ellen from Medicine Music.

The House Concert Hub community will use it for the purpose of providing a online, all singing all dancing, review and preview area for the music of the community, and the music community at large. Have a look around tell your friends use the share button, tell the world.

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Here starts an other adventure.

  Visit The House Concert European Hub (& Acoustic Music Club Network)



1 1 108
HAYES CARLL / What It Is / Dualtone *MM, *SZ
2 -- 66
DANNY SCHMIDT / Standard Deviation / Live Once Records *JJ, *HdB,
*TK, *AN, *GS, *MF, *SP
3 2 53
PHIL LEE / The Horse He Rode In On / Palookaville Records *MP,
*PvG, *ME
4 -- 49
MERCY JOHN / Let It Go Easy / Butler *LK, *JD
5 3 45
THE DELINES/ Imperial / El Cortez *FSch
6 4 44
VICKY EMERSON / Steady Heart / Independent
7 -- 42
RYAN BINGHAM / American Love Song / Thirty Tigers *HB
8 6 36
SUZANNE JARVIE / In The Clear / Wolfe Island *CRS
9 24 35
KALYN FAY / Good Company / Horton *JV, *JBo
11 35
MANDOLIN ORANGE / Tides of a Teardrop / Yep Roc Records
11 -- 34
VARIOUS / Songs of Our Native Daughters / Smithsonian Folkways
*FCe, *PJ, *PK
12 8 28
TINY LEGS TIM / Elsewhere Bound / Independent *FB
-- 28
J.S. ONDARA / Tales of America / Verve Records *AL, *WV
14 -- 28
MADELEINE ROGER / Cottonwood / Independent *LM
15 -- 24
KIM LENZ / Slowly Speeding / Blue Star *MvP
-- 24
LILY & MADELEINE / Canterbury Girls / New West *TJ
17 12 23
LEYLA McCALLA / Capitalist Blues / Jazz Village *DH, *BH
18 -- 22
ETHAN JOHNS with The Black Eyed Dogs, Anamnesis, Three
Crows/Proper *RK, *JB
-- 22
LONG RYDERS / Psychedelic Country Soul / Cherry Red Records *JS
20 5 19
LULA WILES / What Will We Do / Smithsonian Folkways
21 -- 18
YOUNG VALLEY / Young Valley / Dial Back Sound *DHo, *CvL
-- 18
KERRI POWERS / Starseeds / Continental
23 -- 17
THE CACTUS BLOSSOMS / Easy Way / Walkie Talkie *KG
24 -- 16
DALE WATSON / Call Me Lucky / Red House *PR
-- 16
MICHAEL McDERMOTT / Orphans / Pauper Sky *JDoel *

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