Not sure why it has taken so long but I finally got a James Yorkston CD, the new ‘When the Haar Rolls In’, and a beautiful disc it is too. It seems a rather delicate offering in many ways, reinforced by his vocal style and the production. Although it is all skillfully played there is a sense that he didn’t waste energy endlessly polishing and tweaking the final sound – not that this is a criticism, its quite refreshing really.
The lyrics are more like prose poems than the usual song lyrics and consequently manage to put over stories with sentiment and feeling rather than forcing unecessary rhymes and wotnot. ‘The Capture of the Horse’ being especially evocative for me.
The bunch of chaps that help out on instruments and vocals, collectively called the Athletes, help render the nu-folk scottish flavour well. As if it needed it, folk royalty in the form of Norma and Mike Waterson add their considerable qualities to ‘Midnight Feast’, itself written by Lal Waterson.
How good it is to have, for a change, a set of music which not devoid of instant pleasures, actually allows the listener the chance to listen and discover more at each turn – this is the music that lasts, quality will out in the end