Steve Tilston,
Such & Such
(Market Square, 2003)

Steve Tilston may be new to this ear but he has been writing and singing on the folk scene for almost 30 years, and this shows in the maturity of his vocals and lyrics. He sounds a little like Paul Brady and writes in the idiom of Ralph McTell, but he is a unique performer in his own right.

Twelve tracks on this new CD are from his own pen and he adds a rendition of the traditional "The Constant Lover" that makes it almost sound like a new song but keeps just enough of the tradition.

Even the title of track two, "Some Kind of Sonnet," is poetic, and the poetry does not stop there. The poetic magic continues into "Anthony Believes." Anyone listening to the lyrics here will recognise times and events from their lives and of others. This is heartfelt writing that will touch you.

He may be English-based but his poetry is international. This is displayed in "Waterhole" when he transports us with music and lyrics to a desert landscape. "Mirror Dance" is an all-too-real reflection on life as we grow older and wonder about the past and future.

Like all good writers he has a story in the songs. One such epic is "The Snipers Tale," which he follows with a beautiful tale weaving history into the present on "Rolling Down This Roman Road."

"The Constant Lover" is a song as old as folk music and has been covered by almost every artist in time. Tilston combines it to his fine guitar playing and is aided by the evocative vocal harmony of Anna Ryder to make it a new classic.

Here is a collection of songs that will lighten the heart and give food for thought by turns. What more could a listener want other than a beautiful singing voice? (And you get that, too.)

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 10 October 2003