Along the Way
ALONG THE WAY by Dave Kirk A review by David Joss Buckley ALONG THE WAY is a delightful album of thoughtful and deeply personal songs. The music is all Kirk's work - as are most of the songs (with lyrics on a handful of tracks by John Brindle) Arrangements are of the highest order and the recording involving and warm. The backing of several fine musicians - Dan Britton, Neil Segrott and Chris Conway - enhance the songs beautifully and help showcase perfectly Kirk's delicate and airy melodies. His finger-style playing on the fretboard is an intricate tracery of trills and curlicues; a confident performance by an experienced and accomplished artist, who seems equally at home on the piano. Albums of this sort of material often lurch into easy sentimentality or (worse) obscure and overwrought lyrical allegory, as the writer seeks to express a worldview via the medium of song. Happily ALONG THE WAY avoids these pitfalls by staying simple and expressive without ever becoming pretentious or over-indulgent. From the achingly pretty instrumental of CUTSDEAN to the act of devotion that is TRY TO CONNECT WITH ME, to the starkly poignant folk-poetry of TWO SEASONS this is a hot-chocolate-by-the-fire album. A CD to curl up with. The stand-out track for me is the title song ALONG THE WAY. Unadorned and beautiful, in my view it lifts Kirk's writing into Beth Nielsen Chapman territory and the message it leaves: that we need to make the most of the short time we are allowed, before the footprints we leave in the sands of existence get washed away, is life-affirming rather than gloomy. 5-stars! Buy this album! Now! DJB - November 2004.