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EDS: Long Grey Beard And A Head That’s Bald (review)

2018. március 12.


The owner of that titular beard and hairless dome is Andy Rouse, Exeter folk singer and academic, turned exile. Rouse has lived in Hungary since 1979, and here he surrounds himself with Hungarian musicians in a richly rewarding collaboration.

He has the clearest voice and a winning sparkle, especially on the music hall turn of Suit of Corduroy. There are 12 songs here and all twinkle under the charming presence of the bearded one and include a winning take on that bawdy morris favourite, Cuckoo's Nest - here given a Gypsy spin, taking the tune for a drive that goes faster and faster. The full English, with a sprinkle of Hungarian paprika, as it were.

The album begins in sturdy tunefulness with the Yeoman of Kent and winds up with the 1916 classic, If You Were The Only Girl In The World, here performed beautifully and affectingly by possibly the only long grey-bearded, bald-headed Hungarian man from Exeter in the world.

Surprisingly lovely.

Julian Cole

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