IF Geordie acoustic guitarist and writer of rambling, bug-eyed modern folk songs Richard Dawson has yet to appear on your radar then I humbly suggest you remedy the situation, for his is a world which emanates positive vibes and off-the-scale feats of imaginative ambition.
Picture a voice somewhere between Peter Gabriel and Gruff Rhys, a feral yet virtuosic finger-picking guitar style and an approach to songwriting that calls to mind the whimsy of Kevin Ayers and the acoustic enquiries of such Scottish contemporaries as RM Hubbert and Sound of Yell.
Now transfer that to a suite of psychedelic songs set in north-eastern England in the early middle ages with one-word titles such as Masseuse, Scientist, Beggar and Prostitute, and tell me you’re not confused.
In simple terms, within Peasant you’ll find unspeakable acoustic beauty a la Jim O’Rourke (Soldier), a sprawling feast of choral call and response (Ogre) and a bottomless well of melodic feints, lyrical quirks and refreshingly unpolished performances from Dawson and co-pilots Rhodri Davies and Angharad Davies.
It’s a bonkers, messy, life-affirming stew. You’ll be up for seconds, guaranteed.
Watch the video for Ogre here:
Reproduced with permission of Herald & Times Group.