Since I had the issue with my hearing and the consultant said I should stay away from loud music, I have spent a lot of time searching out acoustic music. The mainstay of acoustic music in the UK is folk or roots music. So I try to attend as many folk/roots gigs as possible. One artist that grabbed my attention is young Blair Dunlop. Now Blair just happens to be the son of the folk god that is Ashley Hutchings, former bass player with Fairport Convention and founder of The Albion Band.
Blair released his first full length album at the end of last year but I did't discover it until January - so it's 2013 as far as I'm concerned. It highlights high sublime guitar playing, with echoes of Nick Drake, and excellent songwriting skills. He even gets a song from Richard Thompson. Blair has also taken over the mantle of leader of the Albion Band from his dad and continues to run two careers at the same time. Such a young talent.
Here's the title track from his album Blight & Blossom. A heartbraking song that closes the album.
It's one of those rare albums where every track is worthy of a mention. Songs such as Threads, Less The Pawn & Secret Theatre seduce you with their beauty and draw you in with their story-like quality.
Indeed, Blair has covered several topics on this album including The MTV Generation (Less The Pawn) & Did Shakespeare write his work (Secret Theatre).
And Blair is such a creative guitarist. He has been inspired by the two Nicks. Nic Jones & Nick Drake. Two brilliant guitarists.
The Albion Band playing in a quite unusual Def Leppard cover.
I await his new album, due out in the spring, with eagerness. The new songs he's played from it so far have been fantastic :)
Twitter - @BlairDunlop