Steve Ashley – Everyday Lives
With ‘Everyday Lives’ Steve Ashley created an extraordinary album of contemporary songs. Songs which are informed, but never overwhelmed, by the folk tradition. As the title suggests, they focus on aspects of everyday lives and loves, but that shouldn’t mislead the reader into thinking they are mundane. Far from it, this is a very special evocation of ENGLISH culture with no apologies (and why should there be?). A deeply atmospheric collection of remarkable songs.
1. Everyday Lives – 0:58 2. Catch Him If You Can – 3:01 3. Dance With You – 3:16 4. By The Light Of The Moon – 3:14 5. Say Goodbye – 6:52 6. Down Among The Hop Poles – 3:10 7. Wintertime Has Turned To Spring – 2:55 8. And I Always Will – 2:50 9. I Love The Way You Sing – 3:31 10. Pity The Counsellor – 4:35 11. We’ll Survive - 2:48 12. Gog And Magog – 4:45 13. The Spoils Of War – 2:55 14. Over There In Paradise – 4:04
Steve Ashley (vocals, guitar, electric bouzouki, harmonica, whistle) , Dik Cadbury (bass guitar, electric guitar, programming) , Gerry Conway (tabla, Moroccan drums, bells) , Mick Dolan (electric guitar) , Al Fenn (acoustic guitar) , Chris Leslie (fiddles, mandolins) , Simon Nicol (electric guitar) , Dave Pegg (bass guitar) , Danny Thompson (double bass) , Robin Williamson (harp) , Lawrence Wright (melodeon)
1. AllMusic - Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
Steve Ashley is a veteran of the English folk-rock scene with a bent toward writing original songs. Everyday Lives finds him with a number talented friends, casually putting their mark on 14 songs. The title cut opens with a dense layer of sound and Ashley's resonant voice. Moroccan drums and charming fiddle are added to "Catch Him If You Can," and an eclectic mix of mandolins, bouzoukis, harmonicas, melodeons, and electric guitars creates a rich blend throughout the album. The mysterious lyrics of "By the Light of the Moon" are set to a melody that will leave the listener humming, and the overall mood of the piece is enhanced by pleasant harmony and tastefully played electric guitar. "Say Goodbye" has a traditional feel, evoking country doctors and fair maidens, and is brought to fullness by Chris Leslie's mandolin. Lyrically, Ashley states that these songs came "from a long period of refection." They concentrate on "everyday" incidents and of life in the country, giving the album a thematic unity. "Wintertime Has Turned to Spring" draws upon the seasons to create a simple, striking song that mirrors the ups and downs of a love affair. This song slips quietly into "And I Always Will," a declaration of love that remains despite differences and angry words. Everyday Lives succeeds musically, lyrically, and vocally. It offers a perfect combination of the old and new, much as the best English folk-rockers and singer/songwriters always have. For Ashley's fans and fans of the English folk scene, Everyday Liveswill be a rewarding listening experience.
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