KRIS DREVER - Black Water

Black Water
Reveal 12CD

I have a CD to review: Kris Drever's first solo album, Black Water. I put it on the stereo but there's a TV blaring out cartoons, two noisy kids on the floor and someone practising a chord on the guitar. I put the headphones on and drift away. A voice comes at me honest and unpretentious. Black Water the opening track, is a song of a changing world, is meaningful poetry and Kris Drever delivers it with a real sense of involvement.

Kris Drever has released albums as a member of the trio Fine Friday but this is his first solo album. It is produced by John McCusker and has guest appearances by Kate Rusby, Donald Shaw, Andy Seward, Andy Cutting, Roddy Woomble and Eddie Reader. An equal amount of traditional and contemporary songs are included, besides two excellent instrumentals. (It is especially difficult to sit quietly during the first instrumental track Honk Toot...). The selection of material shows Kris Drever's capability of picking a good song. I cannot find a weak one amongst them and he succeeds in giving well-known traditional songs such as Braw Sailin' on the Sea and Patrick Spens his own reflection.

The contemporary songs are also well chosen. Turn the volume up and listen to Beads and Feathers. It instantly took me with its beautiful lyric and rising note. Navigator is a great song of the men that laid the groundwork for a civilisation but never made it into the history books. Kris Drever has chosen songs that are tuneful, lyrical and relevant. They deal with human situations on a wider horizon. The album finishes with a hidden bonus track Farewell to Fuineray.I ease off the headphones. The TV has been turned off now, the kids may be noisy but they're happy and the chord has turned into a song.

Pernille Rutzou

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This album was reviewed in Issue 71 of The Living Tradition magazine.