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Roaring The Gospel

James Yorkston

7 / 10 If there were more musos like James Yorkston, maybe hearing the term ‘singer-songwriter’ wouldn’t make us want to slice our wrists with a snapped copy of ‘Back To Bedlam’. On this scoop-up of EP tracks, foreign releases and a few newies, he shows himself to be an artist whose influences are obvious, but he still sounds pretty much unique. We can hear what would happen if Sufjan Stevens jammed with Dylan (‘Someplace Simple’) and if a slouchy, early acoustic Beck got Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy to lay down some vocals (‘Blue Madonnas’), plus there’s a sublime British take on Lambchop-style Americana (‘Moving Up Country, Roaring The Gospel’) that shows Yorkie to have a talent as deep as a mine shaft. Oh, and on ‘Seven Streams’ there’s an oboe. Why the hell doesn’t anyone play oboes any more?

Jamie Fullerton

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