Pete Morton - Swathmoor
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Pete Morton
Swarthmoor (Harbourtown Records, UK)

The 2003 collection of Pete's original material, just Pete's vocal and guitar as you hear him in concert.

"In a songform once so familiar it drove us all to distraction, Morton now ploughs a determinedly lone furrow. His recent adventures into the tradition have evolved into a fairly unique absorbment of the folk song form, that serves him in his socio-political documentation of current events and the human condition. The frequent links between the two is integral to the approach on this brave, starkly simple album. Just one man, an acoustic guitar and a bunch of songs that invariably contain more depth and meaning than may at first be apparent.

The Two Brothers, in particular, is bound to court controversy with its analogy of the Middle East as two naughty boys who need their heads banging together. The Government Wall would appear to be a sad, rather than bitter, denigration of New Labour while George Slew The Dragon hints with dark mystery at other demons entirely. Yet no track is more evocative of Morton's increasingly evocative writing than Naseby Field, based on a 17th-century battle during the English Civil War and structured like a traditional song through the eyes of a soldier in the field of battle, with nightmarish visions of the future. Throw in a love song or two and a couple of chorus songs you just know will raise the roof in a folk club and you have a stripped-down album that takes you back to the very soul of the singer-songwriter's art... with none of the introspective self-indulgence that sent the genre fleeing to the hills. - Colin Irwin, fRoots

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