Ian Croft of RnR
reviews Outway Songster by Cohen Braithwaite-KilcoyneDebut albums by young performers often show promise; sometimes, as in this solo CD by Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, they go way beyond that. A member of Granny’s Attic, Cohen shows a maturity in the singing and playing of traditional music that completely belies his age. The album is performed absolutely solo – no frills, no friends in to help – and is a real pleasure.
Cohen has a powerful, natural voice with slightly rustic undertones, and he’s not afraid to sing out. He makes a great fist of the one unaccompanied song, ‘Edward’, even managing to evoke memories of a young Tony Rose. The songs are uniformly good. Two favourites are ‘Andrew Rose’, a horrific tale of abuse at sea to a wonderfully dramatic tune, and ‘Country Carrier’, a music hall song which reflects Cohen’s wide range, thereby qualifying him as an ‘outway songster’.
His melodeon and concertina playing are out of the top drawer, whether accompanying the singing or on the three traditional tune sets. He is also a keen student of traditional sources, who knows he is an ongoing part of the folk process by admitting in the sleeve notes that he’s made unwitting changes to published material.
Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne is heading for the top of the class!