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Tudur Morgan, a native of Anglesey, is a singer-songwriter who works mainly in a kind of country, pop and folk crossover vein both solo and with his band MOjO, as well as producing some of Wales’ top acts.  The title of his latest CD translates as Liverpool – a city to which the Welsh lay as notable a claim as many other communities – and forms a celebration of the link between North Wales and that city in this its year as European Capital Of Culture.  The disc is punningly described by Tudur himself as a “musical lobscouse” (veg-and-meat broth!), and forms a celebration in song and tune of Wales’ contribution to Liverpool’s rich cultural heritage.  The musical idiom is thus sensibly varied, to reflect the diversity of that city’s cultural life, and the album features Tudur’s lively and attractive arrangements of traditional material among his own compositions.

The opening Ymhellach Na Phell (The Pool) has a genially rocking pop-style melody that crosses the confident stride of New Country with a Gerry Rafferty vibe in a tribute to Merseybeat, whereas the folkier acoustic textures of Mynd O Wlad Y Medra (Mona, Farewell) almost recall Lindisfarne, and Naw Stryd Madryn (On Madryn Street) is distinctly late-Beatlesque.  Tudur’s backing crew incorporates the talents of Huw Roberts, Tudur Huws Jones, Bedwyr Morgan, Simon Gardner and John Williams, and a fine ensemble they make too.  But, however satisfyingly constructed the songs and music may be, one feature of this release might be considered a bit of a drawback.  Non-Welsh-speakers need to note that no translation is given for the five traditional songs; and yet three of Tudur’s own songs are presented in both Welsh and English versions here (this took a bit of working out: only when you start to think “this song sounds familiar…” does it start to dawn!).  All in all, this is a likeable and musically accessible release, although definitely more pop than folk in its overall style.

David Kidman

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This album was reviewed in Issue 82 of The Living Tradition magazine.