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David Kushar of Spiral Earth

reviews Lost Love Found by Jim Causley

Jim Causley's fascination with traditional song started early in his life and a steady momentum has been sustained ever since. During periods of study at both Exeter College and The University of Newcastle Upon Tyne he took an interest in the folk clubs and performing. Then 2005 saw the arrival of his well received debut 'Fruits Of The Earth' and further critical acclaim as part of the trio 'The Devil's Interval'.

Now via collaborations with Essex four piece Mawkin, fiddle maestro John McCusker and multiple BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominations we arrive at his 'Lost Love Found' his second solo offering.

Like others before him Jim has taken full advantage of the beautifully bucolic setting of the Wild Goose Studios in Hampshire. The CD's booklet depicts him strolling outside the whitewashed cottage. The whole scene shouts Englishness and Tradition.

His own waggish yet illuminating sleeve notes reveal the man's enthusiasm for the folk form. The disc opens with a truncated version of 'Polly Vaughn'. To say that such a tragic tale is warm and comforting may seem harsh but the delivery envelopes us in velvety tones that soften the misfortune.

We do get what some may consider to be the cliched 'Wild Rover' but as Jim explains 'I do like finding interesting songs with a groan factor when you mention their names. If only to remind folks that the reason they've been done-to-death is simply because they're fantastic songs'. Coincidentally it has a trans-Atlantic flavour here as Sandra Kerr provides backing on an Appalachian Dulcimer. Other guests are James Delarre on fiddle and George Papavgeris who brings his lusty voice to bear on his own 'Traitor's Love'. In the main though it's James Dumbelton Jim's trusty multi-instrumentalist/collaborator and co-arranger who's helped shape the sound.

Once the scene has been set it's Jim's voice that's the star of this show. Uncommonly bountiful and unhurried each number gets the Causley hocus-pocus. Mostly notably the lingering 'Rolling Of The Stones.'

Steeped in tradition but not necessarily beholden to it 'Lost Love Found' should shine more light on Jim Causley's considerable talents. By the time he's finished he'll be leaving an indelible mark on the music scene in this country.