Green Pastures – Review by Dave Deeks

GREEN PASTURES

ISLAND IMAGE RECORDS, IIR003

Rating 7/10

Reveiwed by Dave Deeks

Until a couple of weeks ago I was new to the name of Michael Harcus. Then Geoff Howlett reviewed his latest CD in last month’s NFN, I saw two of Michael‘s songs in the NCM Euro charts, and this earlier ‘Harcus’ CD popped through my letterbox!

Based in the Orkney Islands, here Michael brings us a selection of songs mainly in the traditional/old time gospel style. Writers include Loretta Lynn, Ricky Scaggs and Rich Mullins – with one particularly ‘hootenanny’ track written by Michael himself.

Michael has a voice that really does communicate, and he and Christine certainly have the right friends when it comes to making a CD. Other members of the Harcus family also contribute, with Kenneth on bass guitar and drums, and John singing bass vocals on a couple of tracks.

Much use is made of vocal harmonies, very well done. Mandolin and ‘country fiddle’ also feature – the latter to particularly good effect on ‘Far side bank of Jordan’. Several times, Ken’s inventive drumming adds particular interest.

Whilst much of the musical style presented here is not really my thing, the quality of the performance, production and sound is such that I soon found myself enjoying it – the best tracks for me being “Green Pastures” and “Where Could I Go”.

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