Steve Bonham – Songsmith. – CD DBL 005


Steve Bonham album review

Steve Bonham

I first met Steve Bonham in the late 1980’s when he was part of the folk band ‘Firkin The Fox’ and I booked them to appear at Ilkeston Folk Club which I was running at the time. In fact I still have their LP ‘Behind Bars’ which I play every now and then.

This will be the third review we have written for Steve CDs, the first two were ‘The Moon’s High Tide’ and also his CD single ‘They Came Home’ , so I was looking forward to having a listen to the latest offering.

 It’s obvious that Steve Bonham has a way with words and you should really take the time to sit down and listen to the album – and then listen again.

The first track ‘Sister of A Dirty Moon’ is a lively start to the CD and with a hint of a calypso rhythm with some fine whistle playing in the mix. I suppose that it sets the tone for what is to follow, as all the songs vary in style, have some great lyrics, tasteful musicianship and well produced.

As I suggested, the style change of the second track ‘Rules of The Game’ starts with a blues feel and nicely switches slightly up tempo with a nice bass line played subtly by Chris Lydon on tuba. Not usually the first choice instrument for this style of music but I must admit that it works brilliantly and sounds a bit like a fretless bass on some tracks.

While on the subject of musicians, Steve has a great lineup which includes Tom Leary on fiddle, slide guitar, guitar and bouzouki – not all at the same time though…

After listening ‘Songsmith’ through to the end (something that I don’t always manage to do), I must say that I enjoyed the experience. I get the feeling that Steve is a ‘song factory’ and a man on a mission, I feel that there will be a lot more to come in the next few years.

I predict that he’ll have a few songs nicked and crop up on albums by other artists…

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Alan Morley
FOLKRISE