Martin Vogwell

Martin Vogwell is a busy man. In addition to his 10-year membership of folk-rockers Folklaw, the more traditional but endlessly inventive Cobblers Child and his Vogwells duo with wife Emma, as well as generally spreading good cheer wherever he happens to be, he has also found the time to offer up a solo album, albeit accompanied by a number of friends.

Alongside his other interests a love of canal life permeates much of his output and features heavily on the album – though both the title and the cover provide good clues, particularly in the early stages of the album. However, given that inspiration is drawn from a particular love, it is represented in a variety of ways – the album shines with a variety of forms of expression – true, there is the upbeat singer-songwriter sharing his life and love, but there are also interludes of spoken word and instrumental offerings that maintain interest throughout.

If there is an overall feel then it is one that calls to mind The Detectorists – not in terms of the humour, nor the musical accompaniment of Johnny Flynn, but in gently warming your soul to the point that the music becomes your friend, along with the man who makes it! That said, there are opportunities for rumination on the darker side of life and relationships, as the difficulties of truly expressing ourselves in uncomfortable situations are addressed in a thoughtful manner, that explores the issue without becoming either trite or gloomy. The more downbeat aspects are then counterbalanced by a much more humorous take on the modern condition, as the dangers of autocorrect and the need for communicative speed are laid bare.

As a musical polymath that befits his 30 years of performance, the musical content matches up to the songwriting – Martin contributes Guitar, Vocals, Mandola, Mandolin, and Bass, whilst various bandmates and fellow travellers weigh in as required.

Keep a look out for Martin on the byways and waterways of the folk world – your vigilance will be rewarded.



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