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James Hollingsworth - Alive in 2005

Alive in 2005

James Hollingsworth

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com)

First of all, Hollingsworth seems to be an up-and-comer, presently working, though not here, with producer John Burns, who has associated with Genesis, John Martyn, Sandy Denny, Cat Stevens, and others, so there's much to be said for that, though this recording, a raw miked affair, leaves more than a bit to be desired in seeing it. Straddling the line between minstrel, folkie, traditionalist, and improvisationalist, he much favors the former three over the remaining latter, basing his improv numbers in trad structures, not traveling far from home save in logical progressions.

The CD is live from a small bar in England, replete with boozed-up patrons (well, of course!) calling back and forth to him, usual yodels apparent as well as appreciative applause - although some bint decided she had to engage the guy in discourse halfway through one song, not exactly an appropriate way to demonstrate either affection or disdain (as at least one comedian has said of such hecklers: "Hey lady, do I come in and jump up and down on the bed while you're working?"). The entire thing is, though, more a rehash—most of the songs are years old—and noodle session than anything else. Sand Dancing is the highlight of the affair, an 8-minute improv on a vague theme, a tune that builds and expands, demonstrating a bit of what Isaac Guillory once added to Al Stewart's mid-period LPs.

Nothing spectacular here, nor anything that would prompt expletives, though the potential is obvious, perhaps most solidly in such normal compositions as The Sun Still Rises, a Donovan-ishly jazzy folkrock number. The closing On the Run from Nothing, borrowing from Pink Floyd and Metallica, is a pleasant meandering too-short close-out and perhaps the lad should consider more covers, but we'll have to hear Mr. Hollingsworth's studio work before any assessment can be properly rendered. Upon that, we await.

Track List:

  • The Road It Carries Ever On
  • The Encore of Doom (spoken interlude)
  • One Saturday
  • Walk the Earth
  • Under the Influence of Love
  • Water Errand (spoken interlude)
  • Faster Than Light
  • The Beginning of the Evening
  • Ripples on the Waters
  • Something Vaguely Spanish
  • The Same Sky
  • Sand Dancing
  • The Sun Still Rises
  • On the Run for Nothing
All songs by James Hollingsworth.

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2006, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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