This collaborative effort from Billy Mahonie’s Gavin Baker and his father Dave is a charmingly traditional folk record, one that sounds like the perfect soundtrack to laidback seaside holidays, nights spent atop cliff tops stargazing from the back of a VW camper; that, or to train rides to Devon during the 1930s, the sun warming each coach to oven-like temperatures.
Musical sources, so says the small press release – this is one of 52 albums to be released this year as part of Unlabel’s series52 programme – consist of early American country, English and Irish folk tunes, and free jazz; the fact that Driftwood Boats, for all its archaism, doesn’t sound like a simple re-hashing of musicians past (cover versions aside) is a testament to its quirky appeal and overall compositional quality.
Guitars and mandolins are caressed, each song allowed to drift – as that title might imply – slowly to its end, with no real peaks and troughs along the way. Sea shanties rub shoulders with the sort of melodies one might hear emitting from a back-street boozer in Cork or Cornwall, and anyone wishing to escape the non-stop nature of city life is well advised to allow Driftwood Boats to take them away from crowded buses and sticky Tubes for forty-five minutes of a morning’s commute.
7Mike Diver's Score