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Resolved is the latest collection of songs from the pen of thought-provoking writer Nick Burbridge. With a strong yet expressive voice and rhythmic guitar, Burbridge performs his songs in a way that makes them sound like they’ve just always been there – an effortless delivery belying the serious craft and passion of a poet dealing with complex themes. Talented multi-instrumentalist Tim Cotterell helps to bring the songs to life with his sensitive fiddle, banjo and accordion. Cotterell is much in-demand, touring with John Jones of Oysterband fame, amongst others.

Between the songs is a series of tanka, an unrhymed Japanese verse-form commonly written as expressions of gratitude, love, or self-reflection. Burbridge uses them to good effect here to break up the songs, much like lead-in quotes before the chapters of a book.

Another Song is a touching tribute to his late friend, the singer Maggie Boyle, to whom the album is dedicated. Burbridge sings, “If we should be parted we’ll not separate for long”, with guest Phillippe Barnes adding a plaintive flute counterpoint to the fiddle and guitar. Song Of A Seeker is a cleverly worked version of The Bonny Black Hare, referencing Yeats and with Barnes and Cotterell playing snippets of neo-Irish reels. The poignant Song Of A Daughter has the feel of a Sussex folk song, where Burbridge and Cotterell both live. Far be it from me to decipher the wonderful Song Of A Celebrant, save to say that the words are beautifully written and the music delightfully arranged by Cotterell, with the feel of a marching band moving it along.

Resolved will draw you in. With Burbridge, one listen is never enough. These are songs that grow in your consciousness and ultimately live on with you the more you listen to them.

Keith Whiddon

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This album was reviewed in Issue 118 of The Living Tradition magazine.