Derek Gifford of Folk Northwest
reviews Ingleneuk by Hector GilchristHector Gilchrist has been around the folk scene for a very long time but this is the first time Ive had an opportunity to hear him first hand as it were. He is a renowned solo artist as well as a member of the duo Selkie. This is his third album.
He has the sort of voice that immediately appeals to the listener and his choice of material is wide ranging from traditional through to contemporary which he takes in his stride in equal measure. His long experience and maturity show through.
Apart from his own guitar work he is given extra sympathetic and innovative accompaniment by Vicki Swan (small pipes, double bass, flute), Jonny Dyer (guitar, piano accordion, piano), Steve Poole (guitar) and the Wild Goose almost resident musician Paul Sartin (fiddle, oboe).
There are a number of folk standards competently recorded here including Stan Rogers Lockeeper, Robert Burns Corn Rigs, the well known Bogies Bonnie Belle and Andy M. Stewarts smashing song Valley of Strathmore. However, it is the two songs from the writing of Janis Ian, whom I readily confess is a new name to me, that caught my ear the most. Apart from the fact that Hectors voice and style are well matched to them, Getting Over You and Shadow are among the best contemporary songs Ive heard for some time.
There are a number of very Scottish accent tracks too of course but none too impenetrable! Another song that took my fancy was Davy Steeles Last Trip Home lamenting the passing of working horses where double tracking nicely complements the chorus.
Overall this is a smashing album that never palls due to the variety and careful programming of the material. For Hectors already established followers this is another album that Im sure theyll lap up and if you are teetering on the brink.. go on take a chance; I dont think youll be disappointed. This is a man who should be much better known than he already is.