Album: Alasdair Roberts & Friends, Too Long In This Condition (Navigator)

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The Independent Culture

Alasdair Roberts is keen to emphasise the relevance of the traditional folk ballads featured in Too Long In This Condition: it comes with an explicatory musing on timelessness from Wittgenstein's Tractatus, and a sleevenote which refers to the passing-on of ballads as a "game of memoried tig come fluid form of existential relay", which just about nails it.

So do Roberts' interpretations of love songs such as "Barbara Allen" and murder ballads such as "Long Lankin" and "Little Sir Hugh", the latter's xenophobic undertones driven by fatalistic drumbeats. Elsewhere, "Lover's Ghost" is illuminated by sad glints of lap steel, while a commotion of clapping and stomping on "The Daemon Lover" surrounds Roberts' astringent, no-nonsense Scots brogue.

DOWNLOAD THIS The Daemon Lover; Little Sir Hugh; Lover's Ghost