Sunday, May 03, 2009

Dave Kusworth - Tambourine Girl

Brum-bred rollin' balladeer Kusworth, long and somehow still standing partner of the lamentably late Nikki Sudden in the Jacobites, has, with his old compadre, long been revered as one of the finest songwriters to slip from these (UK) shores on resounding rollers of ignorance (just ask REM or Mercury Rev). Over a thirty year trail the apparently newly resurgent troubadour has documented faded fairytales of emotional restlessness with no succour or rescue in a unique but unheralded manner, as with Sudden, clashing courtly grace and chivalry with nocturnal nursery rhymes, typified by the title here, with bed-sit squalor and track-marked glamour from The Stones' Lady Jane, the Brontes, Bowie, Bolan and Thunders, but never revelling in tales of drab decadence. Subtitled ...The Spanish Album in reference to an old Jacobites album (Heart Of Hearts), this collection of rarities and outtakes from his solo material, where he recounted dangerous liasions and dear hearts with the Bounty Hunters and Tenderhooks, is no mere odds n' sods. The glorious Ship of Fools (Mary) and Enough To Heal My Wounds - the latter recalling Crazy Horse's Danny Whitten guesting on Dion's Born To Be With You - are true lost treasures, new Kings and Queens colours to be worn and borne aloft like so many flags and banners at a medieval pageant. Far more than transient tokens of song and amour, Tambourine Girl is a striking collection of darkness, anguish and subdued drama.
Stu Gibson

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