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BAZ MCSHERRY - The Lookin’ Drawer

BAZ MCSHERRY - The Lookin’ Drawer
Private Label  BAZMC001

This is the debut recording from Lurgan songwriter Baz McSherry, one of a new generation of folk musicians to come out of the north of Ireland.  The nine songs here are all his own, and they show considerable songwriting skill.  Although not strictly written in the traditional style, Baz employs common themes of love, relationships, emigration, war etc, and focuses very much on his experiences of his local environment.  The album has an acoustic folky feel that would sit easily alongside some of the more traditional folk material.

Baz has cleverly recruited the skills of Jonny Toman, both as a multi-instrumentalist and as producer, and together they have created a relaxed, gentle sound, that is very pleasing on the ear.  Several other guest musicians add texture and depth to the sound, and it is all done with great subtlety and skill.  There are no rip-roaring songs here, the whole album has an extremely chilled feel and it works well as a listening experience. Baz himself has a very warm, easy voice, reminiscent perhaps of early Martyn Joseph at times.

The Busker And The Maid is a lovely gentle song where the voice and simple guitar accompaniment take centre stage, showing Baz’s abilities to their full effect.  The Farmer’s Daughter / Weavers is another great track, where the song is followed by a Jonny Toman tune played on banjo, whistle and bodhran – complimenting the song perfectly, the sign of musicians who know exactly what they are doing!

Baz and his guests are now playing as a band – The Looking Drawer – and have already made several appearances on stage and radio.  They are expanding their repertoire to cover some more traditional material as well as these great songs, and this can only strengthen what is already a winning formula.  Watch out for them.

Fiona Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 92 of The Living Tradition magazine.