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Boomkat Product Review:
The Toon’s foremost folk troubadour sounds like nobody else on a wild thicket of proggy baroque folk songs brimming over with melody and sung in the thickest Geordie tongue.
‘The Ruby Cord’ is musical storyteller Richard Dawson’s solo follow-up to ‘Republic of Geordieland’ (2020) and last year’s ‘Henki’ hook-up with Finnish prog-folk-rock warriors Circle. The seven-part suite features some of his most ambitious songwriting to date, most notably in the 40 minute opener ‘The Hermit’, whose sprawl of dusted folk-jazz, proggy vamps and soothing Geordiecana sets the table for a feast of localised delicacies drawing on the North East of England’s rich folk heritage and perennial outsider status.
Perhaps an acquired taste, Dawson’s music has won over a cult following down the decades since his 2005 debut and now sounds more confidently uncompromising than ever, heralding his background in Newcastle upon Tyne, and its distinctive brogue, with a typically effusive batch of ballads, jigs and fantastical tales about augmented reality and the way history informs the future, set to acoustic guitars, massed choral harmonies, and cosmic electronics.