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Julien May of Song Lines

reviews Lost Love Found by Jim Causley

Four Stars

Tweaked and edited, remade and remodelled

Hot on the heels of Bella Hardys CD of songs of love found and lost comes Jim Causleys Lost Love Found. Must be the times were living in. Causleys album even begins with Polly Vaughn, a version of which Hardy delivers unaccompanied on her album. This is a ballad about a young man, Jimmy, who, mistaking his lover for a swan, shoots her dead. Bella Hardys Molly Vaughan; is journalistic, reporting on the trial. Causley cuts that out, making his version spare and archetypal.

Causley, and guitarist James Dumbelton  (whose contribution is crucial) edit and alter lyrics and re-model traditional songs in a way that might distress some, but it pays dividends. His version of that barroom belter Wild Rover, a paean to fecklessness, is transformed. That this wanderer has spent all his money on whisky and beer is a melancholy fact, not a boast. Hes going home to his parents, but theres a possibility that this prodigal son wont find forgiveness. To revivify that song in this way is a remarkable achievement.

Causley is from Devon, and theres something authentically West Country about his forthright singing  he has a lovely voice  and the swing of his accordion playing. I quibble with the choice of some of the material: you might have a soft spot for Autumn Days, from your primary school Come and Praise book, but  sorry Jim  its just trite. But that aside, Lost Love Found is a very good album indeed.