'Back to the Yellow Hills' from Richard Moss – an album of visceral honesty

(July 03, 2016)

There are at least two reasons to listen to the debut solo album 'Back to the Yellow Hills' from Richard Moss ... outstanding guitar work and a richly accented, warm singing voice ... there's far more of course but these strike you first and remain to Back to the Yellow Hillsthe last. There’s a visceral honesty and an abundance of feeling flowing through this album, its exploration of tradition from the Northwest of England, its journey through 19th century Blackburn poetry, and its presentation of highly accomplished arrangements and self-penned songs.

Without doubt, the man can knows his way around his chosen instruments. There’s a level of skill here that doesn’t just happen ... it needs dedication and finely honed proficiency, it also demands considerable talent ... which Moss clearly has in bucket-loads. Percussive and rhythmic dexterity combines with sparkling fingerstyle delivery to create a result that will hold you, from the sprightly opener ‘Pendle Sally’ coupled to ‘The Pendle Reel’, through the sombre tale of ‘Friends Are Few When Folk Are Poor’ to the riveting original instrumental ‘Back To The Yellow Hills’. Plying his trade across various genres and multiple bands, this is Moss showing that folk music has much to gain from his presence, through stunning arrangements of tradition with ‘The Black / Blackie’s Polka’, ‘Four Loom Weaver’ and ‘The Garland’.

Richard Moss (vocals, guitars, alto mandolin, mandolin) with Becky Taylor (whistle, concertina on ‘Pendle Sally’) and Julian Taylor (octave fiddle on ‘The Garland’). Find Richard Moss and his music here:

Review: Tim Carroll

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