• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

James Yorkston The Cellardyke Recording And Wassailing Society (Domino)

Billed as a solo album but warmly collaborative, recorded in a studio but as intimate as a live gig, CRAWS is James Yorkston, right, at his melodic, harmonic and lyrical best.

It's particularly lovely to hear KT Tunstall fit subtle backing harmonies behind Yorkston's distinctive lead vocal before picking up a solo verse herself on Fellow Man, hanging onto a note like a blues chanteuse and catching the jazzy bounce of Jon Thorne's acoustic double bass. Elsewhere, the backing singers (who include The Pictish Trail and album producer Alexis Taylor among their number) occasionally comment on Yorkston's words like a Greek chorus. It's mostly a low-key guitar/voice/bass affair, with a touch of piano here and there, although Emma Smith contributes some beautiful double-stop violin solos and Fimber Bravo's steel drums add an unexpected but no less befitting texture to a handful of tracks. As a writer and performer, Yorkston is at the top of his game: Broken Wave, his tribute to the late Doogie Paul, is as moving as anything in his ever-more-impressive songbook.

Alan Morrison

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.