NEWS: Richard Dawson Album Reissues | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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A re-issue is a strange form of celebration. It is not the unveiling of something new, nor an anniversary. It is the act of taking something out of its seat in the past and twirling it around on a different stage in the present.
Of course, songs from 2011’s The Magic Bridge and 2013’s The Glass Trunk feature regularly in Richard Dawson’s current shows, twisting and changing with him, though the physical copies of the records from which they come (originally published by Pink Triangle and alt.vinyl respectively) all found their way into the hands of privileged early supporters prior to Dawson’s rise in popularity and reach.
Though new ears have been falling in love with songs such as Wooden Bag and Poor Old Horse (amongst others) at recent performances, part of tours both national and international, (countries as wide-ranging as Ireland, Spain, Norway and Australia,) the possibility of listening to the albums which nest them, of holding their sleeves and digesting the recordings from a crisp speaker system or set of headphones, has been a closed road.
Now Weird World, the record company which has released Dawson’s latest opus, Nothing Important, is adopting responsibility for those key LPs and republishing them for those absorbed by the new album and accompanying live shows and who are keen to know from where this unique man has travelled.
The Magic Bridge represents the consummation of Dawson finding his voice amongst the talent and skill he had long developed. From Juniper Berries Float Down The Stream trickling The Magic Bridge into existence, the hour plus duration explores a range of content, as if the composer was excited to include all of his new-found ideas. These songs deliver emotional and intelligent responses to topics such as romance, family and loss, whilst also testifying to a nature and language grown around the North-East landscape.
The follow-up record was born out of an invitation to contribute to the Half-Memory project; for Dawson to create a response to some of the content in the Tyne & Wear Archives. He honed in on a 17th Century Scrapbook and most of his compositions for The Glass Trunk were inspired by that text. Adding evidence to a commonly found truth, through focusing on subject matter outside of his own biography, Dawson created an expression that represented an even bolder and deeper part of himself. Also, by choosing to sing the songs a cappella on this record, we see a further development of his confidence, and assurance in his vocal performance. The punctuating instrumentals on this record are made with Rhodri Davies, whose friendship and musical methods have had a profound influence on the cultivation of Dawson’s expression.
Our singer has no pre-occupation to retread his steps, and each new album varies greatly in shape and feel, but the rich timbre of his voice, the way his fingers pull around his guitar and most importantly, the eloquence by which he depicts his visions in the songwriting makes his music unmistakably his. These two albums deserve as much opportunity to be heard as Nothing Important and shortly they will be given that platform.

The physical re-issues of The Magic Bridge and The Glass Trunk are available now.

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