Album Review
Redwood Cathedral


In this sharply focused album, Gaughan continues his return to a strongly acoustic sound in a series of songs of politics and life on a human scale. It opens with Brian McNeill's Muir and the Master Builder, a poem-song dedicated to John Muir, the godfather of American environmentalism. It continues with Si Kahn's Gone, Gonna Rise Again, and Ron Kavana's moving call for Irish unity, Reconciliation. His ability to take other writers' songs and make them personal is amazing, and this continues throughout the recording. He also contributes a few of his own well-crafted pieces, notably All the Kings Horses a dire warning to the governments and oppressors of Scotland and the world to watch their back: "You hurt so many on your upward climb, now you're all alone and it's closing time". There's also the required Gaughan interpretation of a classic pop song. This time the romantic '60s pop paean Let It Be Me is given a raw, aching reading over his signature solo guitar picking. Redwood Cathedral ranks up there with his now classic Handful of Earth for sincerity and directness.

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