Paul Clarvis, Liam Noble, Cathy Jordan: Freight Train review – quite a ride

(Village Life)
Irish folk singer Cathy Jordan, with Clarvis and Noble on percussion and piano, works her magic on songs ranging from Duke Ellington to Mose Allison

It starts with Dear Somebody, a harmless little waltz sung by the sweet, folky voice of Cathy Jordan (of Irish traditional band Dervish), accompanied by piano (Liam Noble) and drums (Paul Clarvis). It’s all nice and cosy, except for a short instrumental passage, when the drums and piano sound as though they’re struggling to escape. Is it a gag? Could be. Just listen to the other 12 tracks and enjoy the ride. Next comes Don’t Worry About a Thing, the first of four Mose Allison numbers. The folky voice becomes a tough, admonitory blues one, perfect for Allison’s unique blend of down-home blues and wry metropolitan wit.

The other tracks are mainly songs from the past with something memorable about them: The Glow Worm with its clever lyrics; the yearning Isle of Innisfree, helped along here by an unnamed whistler; Duke Ellington’s Mood Indigo, revealing yet another, darker side to Jordan’s remarkable voice. The whole album adds up to a very agreeable 50-odd minutes, but beware. A long-forgotten tune, suddenly heard again, can stick to you like glue. It happened to me with this title track, Freight Train, a hit in the mid-1950s, when I first heard it. Now I can’t shake it.


Dave Gelly

The GuardianTramp

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