Blight & Blossom

28 Apr

BlairBlightBlossom

Released in 2012 on Rooksmere Records, ‘Blight and Blossom’ is the debut solo album by Blair Dunlop and one of the best recordings I bought last year (it won the New Horizon Award and BBC Radio2 Folk Awards.  Unusually,  I bought it as a digital download.

Blair Dunlop is the son of Ashley Hutchings (founder of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, the Albion Band and Rainbow Chasers) and in the same way I’ve checked out Richard Thompson’s children (Teddy and Kami) and Loudon Wainwright’s (Rufus, Martha and Lucy) I’d followed his earliest steps and  noted his precocious talent on a couple of early EPs.

It’s an amazingly assured and mature record from someone who’s only 21. Nine original compositions (of which the title track, ‘Young Billy in the Low Ground’ and ‘Bags Outside the Door’ are the best) , one traditional track and a hitherto-unreleased Richard Thompson song (‘Seven Brothers’). Mr Dunlop’s singing and writing are good and will get better – but if his guitar-playing also continues to improve it’s that which will makes his reputation: It’s quite awesome.

Mr Dunlop is also part of a ‘next generation’  Albion Band and has found time to cram parts as an actor into his working life! (While still a child  he played the young Willy Wonka in the 2005 film of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.)  Clearly the man has talent to spare and it will be intriguing to see where he goes next.

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4 Responses to “Blight & Blossom”

  1. Jenny S April 30, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    I really like what I’ve heard from this guy (mostly on the radio and Youtube!). His guitar skills are, as you say, already pretty phenomenal… although his cover of ‘Black is the colour’ isn’t a patch on the Cara Dillon version! 🙂

    • alastairt May 1, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

      Having experienced your penchant for singing to yourself as you work I await your own album with interest. Cara Dillon is a great nudge..

      • Jenny S May 2, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

        Haha my own album will be a very long time coming I should imagine! But nice to know you think I’ve g

      • Jenny S May 2, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

        Haha my own album will be a very long time coming I should imagine! But nice to know you think I’ve got one in me lol!

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