‘Stories Still Untold’ by Ewan McLennan - bringing each different story to life(August 19, 2014)
Take two years to follow your previous album and some might suggest the causes as pressure of work, lethargy or a search for perfection. One listen to Ewan McLennan’s latest album, ‘Stories Still Untold’ removes any doubt – this collection of traditional and self-penned songs reflects an aura of perfection. These narrative songs demonstrate Ewan’s consummate skill as a teller of tales, taking his listeners through a range of emotions and bringing each different story to life with a sensitivity that moves you straight into their messages.
The originals are introduced through ‘Out On The Banks’, as fine a tribute to growing up and looking back as you could wish to hear; there’s also Ewan’s ode to a pub and its patrons in ‘Tales from Down At The Harp’ and the tender observation of ‘The Ballad of Amy Nielson’ – a piercingly straightforward song. Familiar ‘traditionals’ are represented by such as the multi-versioned ‘The Shearing’, or the aching love encapsulated in ‘Aye Waulkin O’ by Robert Burns’ and the Appalachian ballad ‘The False Young Man’ pulling its influences from both sides of the Atlantic. The album also includes a classic murder ballad with ‘Prince Robert’ – a dark song filled with deceit, jealousy and anger, the political rage and sadness of ‘The Granite Cage’ with its hard despairing edge and the deeply felt struggle portrayed in ‘Henry Joy’.
Alongside Ewan Mclennan (vocals, guitar, banjo) on‘Stories Still Untold’ are Beth Porter (cello) Lauren MacColl (viola) Ross Ainslie (whistle) Inge Thomson (accordion) and Siobhan Miller (backing vocals). ‘Stories Still Untold’ releases on Fellside Records on 29 September 2014 through Proper Music Distribution. Find it here: www.ewanmclennan.co.uk
Untold or oft-repeated, these songs help tell stories that are all the better each time they’re told
Reviewer: Tim Carroll