The McCalmans,
Coming Home
(Greentrax, 2009)

On offer on the McCalmans' Coming Home are 14 top-class tracks ranging over a variety of writers but with the majority from the prolific pen of Ian McCalman.

They commence proceedings with the title track, "Coming Home," and set the tone of true folk music with a song welcoming refugees. Ian's "The Moor Road" is a song of another sort of homecoming as they sing of a pocket of Scotland close to his father's birthplace.

The McCalmans are never far from a bit of fun, but at the same time they reflect on wider issues. On this album, "Let's Recycle" is the track to watch out for. Recent history gets mulled over on the wonderfully titled "When the Risk of Frost is Over," which recalls the persistent repercussions of the miner's strike.

The band moves across the Atlantic for Stan Rogers' "Northwest Passage," and then maintain the briny atmosphere on the evocative fishing song "Five O'Clock in the Morning." The album closes with the heart-rending version of "Only Remember" as only the McCalmans can perform.

As ever an insert booklet with lyrics and some background accompanies the album to the songs making this an excellent package.

review by
Nicky Rossiter

9 May 2009

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