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JOHN KIRKPATRICK - Coat-Tails Flying

JOHN KIRKPATRICK - Coat-Tails Flying
Fledg’ling Records FLED3104

We do get tremendous value out of the heroes of our genres of music. Take John K, for example; this is his 11th album for Fledg’ling, to say nothing of his previous classics for Topic. A track-record like that makes a nonsense of phrases like “one of his best”, but with one arm twisted up the back you have to acknowledge that there isn't anything better in his mighty back catalogue, although we all have favourites.

There is something special about this one. A new relationship has put the spring back in his stride and there is a joyous mood to much of this collection. That is seen to best effect on the run of songs, which might otherwise have come across as just plain silly; The Hi Ho Hare, The Middle Of The World, The Captain With The Whiskers and Bum She Addity. A little further in, we are in nursery rhyme territory with The House That Jack Built. There is a terrific sense of fun about it all. Needless to say, his command of all things squeezebox is as masterly as ever.

That is true right to an unlikely-sounding closer in Blue Moon – beloved of Manchester City supporters. Like everything else in this album, it captures a great musician with a new lease of life.

Dave Hadfield

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This album was reviewed in Issue 121 of The Living Tradition magazine.