The Review Zone – Foy Vance : The Wild Swan @foyvance

foy.vance.wild.swanFOY VANCE : The Wild Swan (www.foyvance.com)

It’s not every day I get a CD to review that I’d just walked past in HMV so I was interested in what this might hold, knowing nothing more than the artist’s name (and clearly being behind the curve on this one). Recorded in Nashville with Tom Waits’ producer, executive produced by Elton John and released on Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man label, this CD has pedigree. Quality-wise, it doesn’t disappoint. It’s expertly written, played and recorded. It drips with Southern charm – “Blues” was the best I could find as a category to place it in. It has a sliver of Richard Hawley (especially on the wonderfully-named “Noam Chomsky Is A Soft Revolution”), hints of Dr John (“Upbeat Feelgood”), echoes of Hothouse Flowers (“Fire It Up”), memories of Van Morrison (“Be Like You Belong”) and a nod towards the Eagles (“Unlike Any Other”) [Hothouse Flowers and Van Morrison are the strongest overall]. All this is without losing its own identity: the tracks all feel like they belong together. They are not a set of cultural references gathered together, but a single work of art. It cruises along nicely without really breaking into a full-on sweat and as such I found few tracks leaped out to grab my attention. Foy has a lot of fans so I may well be in the minority there. Best track: “Noam Chomsky Is A Soft Revolution”, for that wonderful shuffle beat. 7/10 Paul Ganney

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