Review by Lüder Kriete. Kassel Zeitung 20/11/2010

A life of the senses needs the sun, at least here on Earth. But, for a musician, this can often mean more than just music, as can be seen in the work of this gentleman. Not only does the Englishman make first-rate music, he also feels completely at home in the disciplines of poetry, painting, yoga and alchemy. Nor is he joking when he rightly says, 'All my songs and stories have holes in their shoes, dust in their pockets and a dose of the walking blues.' Clearly, we need to convince ourselves of this. Let's do so by a meeting with Mr. Paul Cowlan.

Paul Cowlan, who in his live shows usually performs solo, has for this production called on the support of his friend Ljubo Majstorovic, bass, 12-string, electric guitar, keyboards and percussion; Sandro Friedrich, on a variety of wind instruments; and Chris Leslie, for the contribution of outstanding fiddle passages. There are sixteen tracks, which carry the listener along, through over an hour's worth of diverse life situations. All in impressive taste, bringing every possible flavour to the tongue. Delicate and beautiful is more than just sugary and sweet.

The music originates with British Blues, and the Folk music of those islands, but it deviates widely from these roots. Sometimes it even approaches the spirit of Chamber Music. The individual treatment of the above-mentioned artistic variations achieves a very independant style. The jazzy title track Out of the Sun is a real highlight in this respect, with didgeridoo and a great, swinging drive.

So, beside the Blues, Boogie or Calypso can also be found providing a ground-plan for the songs. Paul's gift for exquisite observation and description also combines itself with themes which are rare in the world of contemporary popular music: the fate of an Iranian asylum-seeker, Winging Home, or the global financial crisis, Bad News Boogie.

The Pessimism Blues exposes an often deeply hidden, but genuine, aspect of the Blues. That when looking on the negative side makes you feel positive, you really do have the Blues! It follows, therefore that anyone who has the real (blues) friends, can consider themselves lucky.

With Ericusa Paul presents his only instrumental on this album. The inspiration for this came to him during a stay on the tiny island of Alicudi. There was a breathtakingly beautiful sunrise, the guitar lay to hand, ready for a slight re-tuning, and the sky provided the chords; with a delightful atmosphere of nostalgia.

You won't often find an inspiration stranger than that for Reflections. Paul was lying in the dentist's chair! The absence of the sound of the drill makes this song even more attractive.

In the sun-coloured booklet every song is accompanied by a short commentary. The provision of the individual guitar tunings will be of interest to guitarists. Here is an album which satisfies by its stylistic individuality. In addition, many will certainly be stimulated to want further experience of Paul Cowlan.

(From the Kassel Zeitung review by Lüder Kriete)

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For any other information then email me at cowlan@t-online.de