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Working Joe Music WJM2003

Here's another album which has been out for a few months now but really shouldn't slip through the reviewing net. Folk scene veteran Bill Caddick made his greatest mark as a writer of songs with a deep sense of tradition, many of which have been covered by the likes of Christy Moore, June Tabor, Alex Campbell, John Kirkpatrick and Cherish The Ladies and used as soundtracks for numerous National Theatre and TV productions. A fine singer and guitarist to boot, Black Country-born Caddick was part of Taffy Thomas' legendary Magic Lantern theatre group, collaborated with Ashley Hutchings in the early days of electric folk and founded the seminal folk-with-brass band Home Service with John Tams. These days he continues to write and perform, though indulging his passion for various side projects like the bands Urban Legend and Jackfield Riverbillies kept his solo career rather low-profile throughout the 1990s.

As a response to constant requests for recordings of his long-unavailable classic songs, Caddick holed up for three days last June in a remote 17th century cottage in rural Shropshire with a couple of guitars and top soundman Mick Dolan and came out with this double retrospective. The best of his output is covered, from the beautiful John O' Dreams and the magical title track (arguably his two most famous songs) to the slide guitar lullaby of Waiting For The Lark and Oller Boller's acapella reminiscences, via the mariachi-flavoured Spanish Nights and the inspiring Lili Marlene Walks Away. Add Flat Earth, Aqaba, The Writing Of Tipperary, Poor Pig … it's an eye-opener to realise how many of those songs, ingrained in the psyche from decades of folk club renderings or old favourites from the singing of other artists, are from Caddick's pen. Hearing them again sung by the man himself is both a wonderful nostalgia trip and a timely reminder of their quality and timelessness. True 'people songs', they'll be around as long as there are people to sing them.

Mel McClellan - January 2003

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cracking or even better. not many performers can make me choke up. caddick can!
squirrel, shropshire
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An impeccable selection of the best in folk, roots and acoustic music.
Mike Harding
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