Dick Gaughan,
Lucky for Some
(Greentrax, 2006)

Dick Gaughan is probably the epitome of Scottish contemporary folk. His voice may not be the most melodic, but his writing and performing are superb. Listing his influences as ranging from Karl Marx to Robert Burns and John Lennon, you can imagine the general trend of his music and also the eclectic mixture of sentiments and sounds.

The opening track, "Whatever Happened," is an ideal introduction to such thoughts as he questions how idealism can die, as people get comfortable. The title track, on the other hand, has a very slight country lilt as he gives us another excellent story-song.

This CD gives us a selection of his own compositions, but he also includes some from other sources. Jim Page's "Anna Mae" is one of those songs that seem almost written to be performed by Gaughan, with its tale of death and the dispossessed. This is followed by his own lyrics retelling a piece of modern Scottish social history on "The Devil & Pastor Jack."

The influence of Burns is evident on "Come Gie's a Sang" in the use of dialect. "Different Drum" is one of my favourite offerings on this album. It is delivered with a quiet passion that suits the lyrics to great effect.

The album closes with an upbeat track called "We Got the Rock 'n' Roll." It could be an anthem for those million bands and individuals who tour the lands of all countries singing and playing. It has humour mixed expertly with the truth of the life of the musician.

This is a CD well worth adding to any collection.

by Nicky Rossiter
10 June 2006