Joe Giltrap
& Tom Paxton,
The Bravest
(Weaving, 2005)

Joe Giltrap is one among many people influenced by the writing and performance of Tom Paxton. This year he got the chance to record with the great American and the result is available on a three-track CD.

The title track is a song performed by the two men. Paxton wrote the song in the aftermath of 9-11. It is proof positive that, four decades on, Paxton's writing and performing have not flagged. He blends beautifully with Giltrap on this release. The song is brilliant, gently reminding us of the selfless sacrifices made by fire fighters in New York -- but we can also relate it to all emergency service personnel who put service above personal safety every day in every land.

Giltrap matches his idol in the composing stakes with a wonderful song, "What's the Matter Little One." He brilliantly conveys the plight of children caught up in our adult world of war, suffering and loss. His usual backing vocalist Patty Vetta adds that magical dimension on harmony. "Phone Call from New York," co-written with Pat Tynan, is another poignant reminder of emigrants, family loss and the need for friends.

The three tracks here all deal with death and destruction in varying degrees, but the whole is an uplifting experience. The CD is probably not on offer in your local shop -- more's the pity -- but contact the website and enjoy this minor gem.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 7 May 2005

[ visit Joe Giltrap's website ]