Socialist Worker

There's nowt so tuneful as folk

by Alistair Hulett
Issue No. 1816

THE BAND Blue Murder brings together seven of the most influential voices in English folk music. Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson are joined by their daughter Eliza, Norma's brother Mike, and the trio Coope, Boyes and Simpson. The end result is a celebration of the human spirit. None of the songs on this CD are overtly political. There's a fair slab of religion, gospel-style, thrown in.

The title track, 'No One Stands Alone' stands firmly in the country gospel tradition of the US Deep South. To hear it sung in broad northern English accents is a reminder of the immense cultural diversity that produced rock & roll. Blue Murder's repertoire is a snapshot of Yorkshire and Derbyshire's contribution to the roots of 20th century popular culture.

The highlights on this album are the biting songs of Mike Waterson. 'Three Day Billionaire', with its intention on payday to 'show the other buggers who's a man', is a funny and compassionate portrait of male working class life. His hilarious 'Mole in a Hole' contains the verse:

I had a friend who found a friend in Jesus
He used to read the Good Book every day
My friend got so friendly with friend Jesus
Friend Jesus took my only friend away.

If passionately sung anthems of working class life in England sound like something you fancy hearing, check out Blue Murder's No One Stands Alone on Topic Records (TSCD537).

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Article information

Sat 7 Sep 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1816
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