Walsh hails from Staffordshire and specialises in the clawhammer style of banjo playing (we only know this as we have some of Steve Martin’s fine albums). He’s a good player and we dare say he gets work as a backing/ studio musician for his skills. This album is a live beast, a man playing songs to entertain a crowd.
Opener The Vaults is an instrumental, Walsh showing off his chops. Funky Haystack is another instrumental, possibly the first time you’ve heard slap-bass style playing on the banjo. Other songs such as Glen Cottage are more traditional.
Want What You Don’t Have brings a first taste of Walsh vocals, vaguely suggestive of Gordon Lightfoot (if he was from Stafford). Elsewhere, The Suilin is gentler and reminds of Saw Doctors sidekick Padraig Stevens. Going To The USA is homelier, about Walsh trying to get a work permit in these days of terror fears and protectionism; he calls the US officials fatherless men, and could only get a permit for 10 gigs not 15: “… and if you hear this song, probably never again”.
A decent folk album from a man who would be worth catching live. Out on Rooksmere Records.
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