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Winter Mountain - I Swear I Flew (Astral Fox Records)
I SWEAR I FLEW is Winter Mountain's first full album since his acclaimed self-titled, debut album in 2013, this album bearing continued patronage of the Lakeman family. Having found earlier support of folk star Cara Dillon and her husband Sam Lakeman, this time around Seth Lakeman shares his considerable influence on recordings which effortlessly drift between the sparsely orchestrated, rock and roll to lush crossover pop.
Cornish singer-songwriter Joe Francis, county seemingly able to constantly deliver such raw talent, takes full advantage of both Seth's earthy vocal on backing and prowess on fiddle, bouzouki and tenor guitar. His own songwriting ability holding it's own among the pen of mightier legends having common ground in the terrority of Tom Petty, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.
Written between time in Ireland, the wild and beautiful north coast of Cornwall, and during a stark winter spent in the French Alps straightaway delves into raunch of Platinum and Gold and Sunlight, Good Roads provide welcoming introduction to album which derives it's title from line in dreamy ballad of The Morning Bell quickly followed by the similarly veined Dragonfly, The latter wrapped in evocative acoustic guitar and cello of Kath Williams charm offensive complete.
Tempo and styling constantly shifting, the huge production of radio friendly We Are The Lucky Ones hooked this listener when recommended on social media although the menace of Things That I’ve Done Wrong only experienced on first listen to this collection another that grabs. Favourite song changes with each succesive play Before the Flood with instrumental skill and backing harmony of Seth Lakeman never stealing limelight. Further contender is the gorgeous fiddle of Niall Murphy on tribute to County Donegal Banba’s Crown.
Deceptively titled closing on Fireworks Night” (Promises We Make), having expected an uptempo song makes fine use of piano and harmonica on ballad although it's the grit of lyric in 'Open Heart', "kiss me cos I'm leaving" that currently takes decision. Promise met, stick around and listen again.