Van Morrison

Three Chords & The Truth

Caroline International

At the age of 74 and with six albums in four years Van Morrison is enjoying an abundant run of form both in the studio and on stages and arenas around the globe. On wistful opener March Winds In February, the Belfast Cowboy takes us on a seasonal journey to the French Rivera. On first listen it feels like a Morrison juke-box classic that’s been around for decades while imbuing the freshness of something recently created.

That spirit continues throughout on the likes of Dark Night Of The Soul with a folky blend of homespun wisdom and sage reflection. There’s a rugged sense of his road dog spirit on a long-player recorded in locations as disparate as Cardiff and New Orleans.

Van is famously still not playing the game on the likes of Fame Will Eat The Soul (where Bill Medley joins him for a robust duet) but musically few are playing the game better in his peer group. Early Days is a delightful look back, as is the slow bass groove of Up On Broadway which takes its cue from Into The Mystic. The easy-going joy continues with If We Wait For Mountains, co-written with Don Black.

Rather than trying to pin Morrison down to a genre it’s the sheer strength of the songwriting and melody that stands out amid the melting pot of his musical styles and influences.

As a singer and interpreter of Scottish songs he adds Auld Lang Syne to the list in the form of Days Gone By. It’s the perfect close to a collection that stands alongside the likes of 2016’s Keep Me Singing as some of the most enchanting work of his later career.