Album Review
Sail On


The Scots guitarist, song interpreter, and sometimes-songwriter has succeeded in creating a fine album that is full of biting political insight, but which doesn't lack for romance, either. He is an active proponent for liberation in Scotland and around the world. Songs include Michael Martin Murphey's "Geronimo's Cadillac," Pete Seeger's anti-war tale Waist Deep in the Big Muddy, and his own socialist manifesto, No Cause for Alarm. The political high point is probably Brian McNeill's No Gods and Precious Few Heroes, a powerful work about the real Scotland, delivered with just his voice and guitar. His guitar playing is not to be overlooked. On Richard Thompson's 52 Vincent Black Lightning he takes the twisted love song and adds his own unique guitar sound to it, making the piece very much his own. A few songs have a stock rock band backing that does not detract from the strength of the singer and the song, but compared to his remarkably sensitive reiteration of Ruby Tuesday with just guitar and harp, the pop numbers pale. This is one of the more acoustic records Gaughan has made this decade, and a welcome addition to the collection.

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