Miriam Craig of EDS
reviews Lost Love Found by Jim CausleyHaving heard Jim Causley sing in person twice and loved his first album, Fruits of the Earth, I felt very chuffed indeed to be given the task of reviewing his second album, and I'm pleased to report that it has only made me more of a fan.
It seems unsurprising that the Devonborn Causley, who studied jazz and popular music at Exeter College before progressing to the traditional music course at the University of Newcastle, was nominated for best newcomer at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2006. The most immediately arresting thing about his music is his amazing bass voice that simply makes your insides quiver. I have to admit there are occasional moments when he doesn't quite sing in tune, but they just don't seem to matter when overall he knocks one's socks off so thoroughly.
Like Fruits of the Earth, this album is very much a collaboration between Causley and fellow musician James Dumbelton, who provides backing vocals as well as playing the guitar, mandolin, and crowdy craven (a type of drum, as far as I can work out). The two obviously work well as a team; the arrangements are wonderfully fresh and addictive. On many of the tracks Causley and Dumbelton take rather bare tunes and transform them into something with a beguiling simple-but-complex quality. 'Cupid the Ploughboy' is such a one, and to this, Causley has also added a beautiful new ending that has Cupid, the god with whom the narrator has fallen in love, turn into a mirage that is nothing more than 'perfume in the air'.
I feel sure that, before long, Jim Causley will become an institution as entrenched in the folk establishment as, say, Waterson:Carthy (with whom he has already toured for four years in a row). If you haven't listened to his stuff then I advise you to do so quickly, before you start to appear perilously behind the times,