MP3 Reg Meuross - STILL
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13 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Pop, ROCK: Acoustic
"Reg Meuross is that rare breed, a true English troubadour."
"There's something special about the way he writes and delivers a song"
Townes Van Zandt
MAVERICK MAGAZINE. AUGUST / SEPT 06 DAVID KNOWLES
A collection of extremely beautiful songs, given a fine reading by one of the UKâs most talented singer â songwriters.
In recent years Reg Meuross has been an integral part of Hank Wangfordâs band, the Lost Cowboys, but he has released two solo albums prior to this offering, the second one, Short Stories getting some very good reviews. Apart from a warmly stirring cover version of Tim Buckleyâs excellent song Morning Glory, Reg has written all other songs here, including a great bonus track called Itâs Me or Elvis, which has very clever reference to the kingâs songs.
The album opens with the joyful and buoyant My Nirvana, which includes some very appropriate piano work from John âRabbitâ Bundrick, who is currently working with The Who. There is also a wonderful country â gospel styled tune called Down to the river which shows Regâs very heavenly voice off quite perfectly. Lucy Saunt and Sally Glanvill add some lovely violin and cello respectively on the two glorious tracks All I want & Something new. Then on The Poacher he enrols Martin Carthy to add some wonderfully unobtrusive guitar accompaniment to his pure and incisive vocals, on this extremely engaging folk song.
Reg Meuross has a remarkably captivating and enchanting vocal style, that when added to the delightfully appealing songs that he writes makes for a winning combination. A quite beautiful album.
NETRHYTHMS REVIEW AUGUST 06 MIKE DAVIES
It took eight years for the West Countryâs answer to Martyn Joseph to follow up his debut album, so thankfully thereâs only been two between Short Stories and this, his third studio set. Once again Meuross, formerly of the Panic Brothers and still sometime member of Hank Wangfordâs band, is joined by Rabbit Bundrick on keyboards, Roy Dodds on drums and Miranda Sykes on double bass and backing vocals, only this time heâs also recruited guest spots from Martin Carthy and Phil Beer.
Although the latter crops up on several tracks, itâs The Poacher that finds the pair plying their trade together, Carthy on guitar, Beer on fiddle, for a song about a hunter who falls for the woman he finds in the woods only to learn sheâs the transfigured mate of the deer heâd killed earlier. Itâs the only real excursion into English trad here, and while folk flavours the album itâs very much filtered through the rippling roots rock country embodied in tracks like the calypso tinged Down To The River (one of several numbers to feature religious imagery), and the lovely barley coloured Days Like These.
As before here are songs of love and family, as he sings about searching for someone to bring inner peace on My Nirvana, or being lonely far from home in the Chapin-esque The Man In Edward Hopperâs Bar.
But what youâll notice are the many references to broken marriages and, as with Do You Really Want My Love where the narrator ponders how âwe donât touch anymore", of relationships that have drifted apart. But there is a resigned acceptance that because some things cannot last, thereâs no reason to apportion blame. On the bluegrassy lollopping Iâll Come Back he sings how love is the chalice and Holy Grail, but realises that sometimes people want to âsee blue whales rise on a Christmas morningâ and while they may leave, they carry a love left behind in their heart. Again on Something New he talks of a man leaving his wife and setting off to see the mistress who makes him feel young again.
One of the stand out tracks on the previous album was Good With His Hands, the poignant tale of his father and the wife who left him. Itâs an event to which he returns here on Donât Give Up, a track where he sounds a lot like the young Harvey Andrews. But he brings a more balanced perspective and while the songâs a retrospective encouragement to dad and he may refer to his late mother as a homebreaker and âcheating and unfaithful wifeâ who he felt had deserted him, he also finds compassion for a woman with an unsatisfied need to be loved, and, in a kind of forgiveness, acknowledges the influence she had in making him who he is. Itâs a wonderful epiphany. And, almost in acknowledgement of a burden of bitterness lifted, thereâs a bonus track, Itâs Me Or Elvis, that plays out the whole domestic strife in tongue in cheek fashion, complete with lyrics that weave in Presley song titles.
Itâs a gem of an album that fully deserves to bring him some long overdue acclaim beyond his loyal but somewhat localised following.
AMERICANA REVIEW AUGUST 06
Having been a fan of Reg Meuross since the âThe Goodbye Hatâ days in â94, I was looking forward to his latest album. Not having released an album for another 10 years when âShort Storiesâ came out, âStillâ then appears a mere two years later. Like buses - nothing for ages and two trundle along in such a short space of time.
Meuross has such a lovely voice that you canât fail to like it... itâs the angst in his voice. Itâs all in the meaning. Thatâs what counts, and Meuross has plenty of that.
Having played music for more than 20 years he knows how it all works. Those years have provided lots of material from which to draw. Not only has always written his own material, but heâs also previously undergone stints in The Panic Brothers, The Flamingos and Hank Wangfordâs band The Lost Cowboys. On this album heâs rejoined by the some of the musicians who made âShort Storiesâ such a success. Notably John âRabbitâ Bundrick, Miranda Sykes and Roy Dodds.
This album continues his autobiographical observations of his parents relationship and further outlines the original story of how their separation impacted on him. During the Short Stories song âGood with his Handsâ he explains some of the mistakes his mother had made during her life and how his father had dealt with it; âHe was good with his hands but hopeless in loveâ. His motherâs subsequent lonely demise is then further outlined here in âDonât Give Upâ; âIâm the son of a homebreaker, two timing lovemaker, cheating and unfaithful wifeâ¦..she lived out her days in her own single bed and I buried her close to her friends. Her need to be loved was an unending song, so she settled at last for a need to belong.â
His mother (not unsurprisingly) impacted on his life and the encouragement sheâd bestowed on her son to do what was right, can be felt throughout this album. Perhaps you can identify with some of these stories, whilst also fully sympathising with her predicament. As they say, let those with no stonesâ¦â¦â¦â¦.
Like Dougie Maclean, Meuross outlines topics and subjects that maybe you donât think have any bearing or impact on your life, but his lyrics engage you right from the off. And then you realise they could be about you. Most artistsâ songs either bring you in and touch part of your being or provide aspirations as to where you wish to be. Meurossâ do both.
Some songs are interchangeable. For example one of the standout tracks, âThe Man in Edward Hopperâs Barâ, (as depicted in Hoppers painting Nighthawks, of the guy sat at the bar) sounds like âAll I Wantâ with their similar phrasing and song structure. But this doesnât detract from their quality. Both are pure class.
In fact this âsameyâ accusation could be levelled at a number of Meurossâ songs. Some of them sound the same but are entirely different, particularly if mixed in with those on Short Stories. But just listen to the words closely and they then take on a wholly different meaning. Good artists can do that - bring you in with a familiar melody and then sucker you with the lyrics. Look at Ryan Adams.
âThe Poacherâ features Martin Carthy which allows Meuross to explore his medieval folk leanings, which adds to the number of other genres he covers; notably the old school country of âDown to the Riverâ and the west coast version of Tim Buckleyâs âMorning Gloryâ the only cover here.
Reg Meuross is that rare breed, a true English troubadour.
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