Friday, 28 October 2011
Steve Tilston - The Reckoning
I'll keep this relatively simple and highly recommend. The guitar work is, obviously, brilliant and the songwriting always engaging. The contemporary and satirical preoccupations are lyrically welcome, though for me it is always the playing and singing - Tilston's vocal perhaps not getting the recognition it deserves in reviews and observations: his earliest material presenting him in exquisite voice; here a maturing depth often evident.
With the recent death of Bert Jansch and, not seeming that long ago, John Martyn, I think we need to cherish more our 'folk' artists still very much with us, and those like Tilston who were instrumental in establishing a guitar style that from the mid 60s to today has been so influential on other musicians as well as accounting for so much memorable existing material. This is clearly displayed throughout The Reckoning and especially in closing track and tribute to Davy Graham Ijna (Davy Ji), though listening to this I heard first Jansch because - and excuse the convolution - that is where I first heard Davy. This echo is also there because of the Nottamun Town Return which is a play on the traditional original, but again a song I heard first by Jansch. I trust my continued reference to BJ can be seen as a compliment to the evocations in Tilston's latest album, which is undeniably his and therefore inherently worth having.
Steve's website contains his own description of the songs' origins, meanings and messages: