The Troubadours Of Perception
There’s a production line in some infernal factory that’s turning out troubadours by the yard. Each of them has a weedy, trembling voice. The vast majority have sunken cheeks and a sprig of facial hair. They have acoustic Martin guitars and biographies that stress their sorrowful lives, their dysfunctional families, their fatal love affairs. They have suffered, and now it’s our turn.
They’re called James and Paolo, Scott and Ray. They can bleat for Britain. They apparently represent the most precious feelings, the apogee of jazz freedom, the most expressive beats of the heart.
But really, aren’t they rather feeble, sorry-livered and generic? I would advise anyone who ever buys one of these irksome little releases to head directly to the wellspring. Wouldn’t they prefer some Nick Drake, Tim Buckley or Fred Neil? People who were originators, not some fifth generation warblers? What about Karen Dalton or David Ackles, or even a taste of Paul Simon? And by rights, everyone should now have a copy of ‘Astral Weeks’ by Van Morrison, the ultimate in jazz-soul meanderings.
Tomorrow, I will review Jack Savoretti on Radio Ulster’s Saturday magazine. Sorry, but he’s rubbish. I don’t really want to go there, but it’s been strongly suggested that I do so. I told presenter Kim Lenaghan that it’s really not my bag, that these puny guys don’t move me. “There can never be enough sensitive guys with guitars and emotional songs and cute facial hair,” she says, emphatically.
So am I too much of a bloke to get it?