Folk fused singer-songwriter Pete Morton releases his first set of new songs since 2015.
Release Date: April 2020
Label: Further Records
Formats: CD / DL
The new album sees the Folk singer, songwriter, entertainer, yogi, left-leaning thinktank and human jukebox (cite: Twitter) comes courtesy of eight new songs and two traditional ballads. However, it’s the challenge of opening up with the title track by Pete Seeger that shows Pete is striking boldly forward and not easing himself in gently on his return. And it may be a coincidence, but the reference to weaving a magic strand of rainbow design might be one to highlight in times when our NHS is playing such a vital part in keeping our nation above water.
The two traditional songs are good value. Not varying too far off the (well) beaten path, Barbry Allen is as familiar as the comfy pair of shoes. A bit battered and well worn but almost like they’re part of you. Farmer’s Boy closes the album with gusto; it’s a rousing yet stately version that comes over as though he’s singing it in chapel.
Humour, politics and social comment all cross swords; not quite biting and acerbic as some of the folk peers, perhaps more sensitive and insightful. Proof that you don’t always have to shout or get angry to prove a point. The Grenfell Carol a case in point, namechecking a tragedy yet with a lyric that unites in support.
Human migration, the arms trade, and climate change are amongst the topics that have caught the Morton eye and become targets for his comments. We Are The Trees By The Side Of The Road has a jazzy swing – most reminiscent of the style of Ranagri – while Metropolitan Safari cleverly works in a series of London landmarks amidst a jaunty tune. Elsewhere, the singalong chorus to Universal Basic Income being sung in gleeful audience participation at (virtual) folk clubs around the nation.
Helped out by a band that includes Alice Jones, George Sansome and Matt Quinn, Pete also duets with Jude Rees on an older song, providing a delightful update on Emily Dickinson Revisited (Good Day, Mr Nobody).
With almost thirty years at the coal face behind him, you could rightly call Pete Morton a veteran but no doubting or dampening his enthusiasm. Whether it’s MOJO championing his independence and creativity or the Glasgow Herald tempting fate by ranking his wry observations alongside those of the mighty Richard Thompson, you have to hand it to Pete Morton for his work on another set that highlights his passion and tenacity.
Listen to Pete doing his classic Another Train here: