Great news! "Fly The Bluebird" has climbed to #2 in Cherry Red Records' download chart at Amazon this morning. Brilliant! Thanks so much to everyone!
Now, gotta overtake that flippin' sampler...
BEAU – Fly The BluebirdCherry Red 2014As “common sense defaces taste,” veteran singer-songwriter looks up to the sky.Acute observations has always been Trevor Midgley’s forte, both in the early ’70s, when he logged a brace of albums for John Peel’s Dandelion label, and 2011′s "The Way It Was" that marked his return, but the older the artist known as Beau gets the less he speaks in tongues and the harder his straightforwardness hits. Looks like a string of archival releases ended the veteran’s slight preoccupation with the ancient past, and for the most part this record deals with nowadays affairs. Such a paradigm shift is palpable in the title track which finds fluttering hope in quite an apocalyptic vision, Midgley warbling angelically to the strum of his 12-string that carries the listener to the tired finale of “Wings” – yet it’s not an easy ride up there.Always an erudite, Trevor strews his songs with historical, philosophical and literary references that enrich the depth of it all without eating away at the beauty of it. So the Gothic brilliance of “Lenin” joins “Lady D’Arbanville” in its fascination with death, although in the case of the late Russian leader this pull feels deadly as well. Hence many questions being asked across the album and, in “A Curious Man,” warmly welcomed, yet for all the puns which render social critique more acidic – Russian oligarchs in “Soldiers Of Fortune” are surely ridden with “gilt” as opposed to “guilt” – the thinning of a folk thread this time around somehow uproots Midgley’s stance. Thus, the carol of “Death Of An Old Year” sounds more like a high-life waltz, but then, Beau taps into the life-affirming source of “Fog On The Tyne” to channel it through “All The Way Down The Line” with its merry anti-communal sentiment.Still, the fog is pierced by a tragedy in “The Hum Of The Cable” after the soft drift gets gloomily serious in “Rooks And Ravens” which slings its chiseled rhymes inside the Guantanamo walls, and in “When Gabriel Turns” that poeticizes a fading memory rather than gives in to an advanced age. That’s the “words of sympathetic pride” echoing from the march of “So Far Away” and from “Singapore” where the imperialistic narrative takes an unexpected turn, albeit it holds no enigma – unlike “That Silver Door” where a TV anchor has to face the fear he creates for all, and thank God Trevor is there to cast a glance behind the scenes. Or to hand one a mirror in “Saving Grace” to find the worst enemy in there, kiss the sky and be free as bird. Ask away and soar higher: Beau’s here for you.
Beau - Fly The Bluebird
Brand new album from one of John Peel's early favourites shows that there is a future for musical protest.It's been three years since Trevor Midgeley (AKA Beau) released an album of new material. Last year did however see the release of a lost album from the 1970s, a vinyl-only release entitled Twelve Strings to The Beau (You can read the full review here). This month Cherry Red are releasing a new album, Fly The Bluebird. As one would expect it's generously packed with wordy, intelligent folk-based songs that you don't often here these days, and harks back to the golden era of singer-song-writers. Think Bob Dylan, or Leonard Cohen. Though with a distinctly English perspective.It's 45 years since his first album helped launch John Peel's Dandelion label. His sound has hardly altered in the ensuing years, he still backs himself with the same Harmony 12-string guitar, his recordings are simple - just one voice, and the one guitar. This continuity of sound, and disregard for changing fashions is to be admired, especially as none of his powers are diminished. If anything the advancing of years adds weight and authority to his songwriting. The voice and playing are also as strong as ever.Though many of the songs are informed by modern political events they have a timeless quality, sounding like they could have been written in 2014, 1969 or for that matter 1869. Poetic and rich with imagery, there's a lot to absorb from the songs here. From environmental issues, through to skilful broadswords against capitalism, tyranny, terrorism and war, the songs have a biting social agenda not at first apparent due to the offsetting gentleness of much of the music.Aside from the politics there's light relief as Beau weighs into a character we've all met, the overbearing social bore he documents on “A Curious Man”. There's also a sensitive treatise on the cruel effects of dementia in “When Gabriel Turns”. Humanistic, compassionate and full of love for mankind and what lies ahead as we head into the unknown future, it would seem that those supposedly outdated hippie ideals from the late '60s are very much alive if not so widely embraced. Perhaps we need them more than ever. Many more widely recognised musicians of Beau's generation have neglected these ideals, whereas he may just be the true keeper of the flame.
Beau – Fly The BluebirdNot long ago, I reviewed Beau’s Twelve Strings to the Beau, a re-release of Beau’s 70s effort. Now it was time to have a go at his recent effort, the newly released Fly the Bluebird.
It happens so many times that musicians who were brilliant in the 70s are not so good after their return to the scene. This is a non issue with Beau because the music on Fly the Bluebird will keep you stuck in your chair for the duration of the album, both for the musical and lyrical content.
Beau once again tackles the topical issues of the time in his lyrics. Beau has proved his lyrics are also timeless, as I’m sure it will be proven with Fly the Bluebird as well. Like the 60s and 70s, today’s world stage is full of inviting themes for rebels and musical “historians” and prophets, such as Beau, to tackle and put to paper and guitar.
Every bit as good as his 70s efforts, if not more. Beau’s voice has grown more confident through the years, it seems, as he sings his “songs of freedom” with conviction, strength and determination like never before. Lyrically, he has also remained a true wordsmith and it is an absolute pleasure to listen to his poetry turned into music.
8.5 out of 10.
Fly the BluebirdBeau a.k.a. Trevor Midgley returns with another fine album stripped back compelling singer songwriter fare with his latest release entitled “Fly the Bluebird” which is comprised of 14 new tracks the first since “The Way it Was” which was released back in 2011.“Fly the Bluebird” is just Beau accompanied by his 12 string guitar and was recorded during March 2013 at a Studio in Norfolk.If you are familiar with his previous material there is much to like here and it inspired me to dig out my own dusty 12 string and attempt to pick out the melodies that he has laid down. I failed miserably!!I particularly liked the closing number “Wings” which I’m sure he wont mind me saying this reminded me very much in vocal stylings of another great artiste who also does not get the recognition they deserve i.e. Wizz Jones.I think this latest release is only available as a download but head on over to his website located at www.trevormidgley.com for further infoBeau writes sharply observed and at times quite stinging, resonating lyrics and this is no bad thing. There is much to like on this latest venture of his and if 60s/70′s songwriters are your bag I suggest you investigate further forthwith.
BEAU – Fly The Bluebird (Cherry Red)
Anyone with an interest in the British music scene of the late 60s may remember Beau, the first artist to release a record on John Peel’s Dandelion label. Issued in July 1969, ‘1917 Revolution’, a song about the Russian uprising, echoed the English protest folk also being produced by the likes of Al Stewart and Roy Harper.No 1 in the Lebanon, it’s success back home was considerably less spectacular but generated sufficient interest to spawn two albums, the eponymous debut and 1971’s Creation. A third was planned for 1972, albeit to be released under the name of John Trevor (his real name being Trevor Midgley) although the only recording that saw light of day was ‘Sky Dance’, part of the label’s swansong compilation, There Is Some Fun Going Forward.Beau may have been subsequently consigned to the land of the musical forgotten, but he’s remained active, albeit mostly as a songwriter, interest being rekindled with reissues of the two albums in expanded formats and, in 2009, the release of Edge Of The Dark featuring five recordings from the scrapped third album alongside other previously unreleased tracks. This in turn was followed by Fables & Facades, a Cherry Red collection of full band versions of songs recorded between 1978 and 2000, 2011’s re-recordings of previously unissued material, The Way It Was and, last year, Twelve Strings To The Beau, featuring numbers recorded with Jim Milne and Steve Clayton from Tractor between 1975-1985.He returns now with an all new download only collection, although, some subject matter aside, it sounds as though it could easily have been dusted down from the early 70s vaults. You may say it sounds dated, which, in the sense of being of a particular era, it does, but I think timeless might be a better description.
Little has changed over the years, his recordings still follow the one man and a 12 string guitar format, he still writes literate, caustic, sharply observed and politically resonant lyrics and he still conjures comparisons to such late 60s/early 70s contemporaries as Jackson C Frank, Phil Ochs, Dylan and, most strikingly, Harvey Andrews and Country Joe McDonald.Kicking off with the folk-blues title track’s coming storm warning and the lightly waltzing old guard’s reflections of ‘Death Of The Old Year’, political commentary protest also informs ‘Lenin’ (“where was the communism, please, in your community?”), the bluesy waltzing ‘Rooks & Ravens’ (Guantanamo Bay and its consequences), ‘Soldiers Of Fortune’ (the mercenaries of economics), ‘So Far Away’ (the shifting face of military technology), ‘Singapore’ (the self-generating decline of the British Empire) and ‘The Hum Of The Cable’ which echoes Thomas Jefferson’s message about how it only needs good men to do nothing for evil to thrive.Elsewhere, ‘That Silver Door’ addresses the nature of television news and those that report it, while the sleeve notes describe the sardonic and bitingly amusing ‘A Curious Man’ as one “for pub philosophers, barrack-room lawyers and dinner-party bores everywhere” and the self-interest themed ‘All The Way Down The Line’ (the singalong chorus of which shares DNA with ‘Fog On The Tyne’) is ‘a slap across the unacceptable face….’Politics strikingly inform the personal too in the anger that burns through ‘When Gabriel Turns’, a powerful, hard-hitting portrait of the cruelty of dementia, so after all this bleakness it’s a relief to find the album closing on the slightly more hopeful notes of the chords-cascading ‘Saving Grace’’s possibility of redemption and, conjuring enduring optimism, ‘Wings’, even if its tumbling chorus refrain is melodically melody very reminiscent of Tom Russell’s ‘Blue Wing’. He may not have the critical and commercial cachet of Jake Bugg, but I know who I’d rate as the better troubadour.
Любопытный факт: песню “Lеnin” исполнил фолк-роковый певец Beau (настоящее имя Trevor Midgley) на своём альбоме “Fly The Bluebird”, последовавшем после прошлогоднего издания его винилового сета “Twelve Strings To The Beau”, на котором были собраны записи, сделанные почти сорок лет тому назад. Давненько я не слышал песен о вожде мирового пролетариата, да ещё с сарказмом. Дью, например, задаёт вопрос: “Where was the communism please, in your community?”. На альбоме довольно много политики. Прошёлся Дью, любимец Джона Пила, и по Штатам в песне “Rooks & Ravens”, затронув тему “коррозийного эффекта Guantanamo Bay”...
(An interesting fact: song “Lenin” is delivered by folk rock singer Beau (real name Trevor Midgley) whose album “Fly The Bluebird” follows up the last year’s edition of his vinyl set “Twelve Strings To The Beau” that collects the recordings made almost 40 years ago. It’s been a long time since I heard songs about the leader of the world’s proletariat, especially ones imbued with sarcasm. For example, Beau asks, “Where was the communism please, in your community?” There’s a lot of politics on the album. Beau, John Peel’s fave artist, also touched upon the States, in “Rooks & Ravens,” where he picks on the subject of “corrosive effect of Guantanamo Bay”...)