Saturday 22 June 2024

IN THE ROOTS OF MUSIC

Newsletter SIGNUP

spiral earth
Saturday 22 June 2024

Share This:

Fair Freedom – Pete Morton.

Jun 3, 2024

Fair Freedom is the latest album from the much-lauded and respected singer-songwriter Pete Morton, troubadour and storyteller of this realm.

And talking of stories, what would tellers of tales and balladeers do without rivers? – soulful metaphors for lives, loves, tragedies and journeys;  gorgeous names like Shenandoah, Missouri and Colorado just aching to be included in a title or a lyric. “Rivers of the Isle” is Pete’s striking salute to the natural waterways that flow in our own island. No less than ninety-nine of them are given an aireing (sorry) against a super, rolling, fiddle-driven backing.

Pete Morton has an ingenious approach to songwriting, expressing his optimism for mankind as a favourite shop that sells the good things in life at knockdown prices.  Another sharp take is his talking-blues about the ghost of an ancient mariner that likes to take up its old place in the tavern on open-mic nights (every Wednesday for those who like detail) and serves us history with a quart of ale, entertaining his listeners with the great events of his time on earth and using snatches of folk-song standards as musical full stops in his narrative stream.  A wry and cleverly crafted observation on the slow march of history. Contrast this with a charmingly ridiculous love-song in a swinging Fats Waller style with endearingly off-beat lyrics …

‘I don’t care where you’re educated, I don’t care at all, your Certificate of Excellence is already on my wall.’

Ten original songs on a wide range of current issues from the dangers of Social Media (‘technology can take us all for fools’) to comments on the possible extinction of the human race.

But this is no glum-fest. Pete Morton delivers humanity, politics, peace, love and justice with the directness of the busker he once was, though not with a verbal cudgel but with wit and shading – creative, confident and terminally optimistic. An album to make you ponder (but with a smile).

Bob Langstaff.

petemorton.com

Spiral Earth rating

uk festival directory