‘I Didn’t Get Where I Am Today’ by Davy Cartwright - blend of folk-pop and rock(November 16, 2012)
Describing himself in rather self-deprecating terms as "I'm not really a folk singer, just an old hippy who writes his own songs" undersells the music of Davy Cartwright to a considerable degree. Old hippy perhaps, but the songs on his album ‘I Didn’t Get Where I Am Today’ are a gentle blend of folk-pop and rock, with perceptively pointed lyrics. The musical blend slips between supremely soft and genial to powerful and potent, then once you’ve relaxed into its embrace, the combination of lyrics and the tales they tell catch you with their discerning depth.
There’s the relaxed but acerbic ‘Management Drive’ complete with insistent electric guitar breaks, the quietly mixed ‘Black Dog’ with its somewhat disquieting lyrics, and the reflectively thoughtful questioning of ‘Time On You’ complete with delightful keyboard accents. Take the cutting edge of the cynical ‘Pumpkin Man’ with its slicing electric guitar and fiddle-driven energy, or the subtle allure of ‘Whisky Woman’ that offers tantalizing harmonies to tell its evocative tale. There’s also a gentle instrumental ‘Daisy’s Chain’ that evokes a faint whisper of a summer long ago (to my ears anyway). Davy’s songs have acid-sharp, finely expressive lyrics that deliver their stories with precise enlightenment, keenly felt expression and mischievous humour, listen to ‘Dark Energy’ and ‘With A Little Hell from My Fiends’ to understand.
This is music with a folk essence that engages from the first with an easy-going style. Delve more deeply and there’s poignancy to his words embellished by perfectly placed accents of piano, fiddle, guitar and delicate harmonies that’s simply entrancing.
Joining Davy (vocals, acoustic, bass, and electric guitars, harmonica, percussion) across various tracks on the album are Moira Morgan, Elaine Morgan and Rachel Redwood (harmony vocals) Xenia Porteous (fiddle) Sam Osborne (electric lead guitar, piano, bass, percussion) Derek Morgan (bass) Lynsie Esprit (bass, keyboards, percussion Paul Duggan (electric lead guitar) Chris Williams (alto sax) and John Turner (percussion).
Reviewer: Tim Carroll