Musikrichtung Folk/Folk Rock review of ‘Still Life’

Dave Greaves, a British singer / songwriter, comes from Kingston-Upon-Hull and now lives in rather tranquil Scarborough, on the east coast of England. Although he was said to be touring with colleagues like Sandy Denny or John Martyn in the seventies and also had good record contracts, and there was contact with Nick Drake, he was unlikely to gain widespread popularity. He was on the road with the American musician Bob Cheevers as his guitarist, and so Cheevers also produced this double album.
Greaves is said to have an incurable neurological disorder, so these songs may be his last. Another reason to enjoy them. In principle, however, there is no need for such a tragic reason, because this music is really very close and very sensitive, full of warmth and affection. The protagonist seems to let his heart speak more than a song, performed with an individual rough voice. What all of the pieces have in common is that you can feel where they are anchored, because they breathe the spirit of the seventies and a lot of the British folk of that time resonates.
And so the folk is also the determining way in terms of instrumentation, based on the acoustic guitar of the artist, demonstrated with great sensitivity with the first song of the first CD. And some ‘a song burns in a little more because of its homely and touching mood, I feel the same way with“ Still Life With Piano ”. (CD1, # 2) Here I am moving quickly in the direction of Nick Drake, the same typical direction is taking, for me a highlight of the two CDs. But other associations are also released for me, be it with Mickey Newbury (“Fool’s Gold”) or with some songs with Eric Andersen or Ralph McTell. There is also a little lavish, sometimes also minor, instrumented tracks, “Rising Tide”, “Danny And His Girl” or “Legacy” on CD 1 and on CD 2 it is the same as “Me And Lucky” that the keyboards as String arrangement stands out, or “The Longing For You” and “Unguarded Moment”. With one of my other favorite songs on the album, “Sunflowers”, because it touches me emotionally, CD 2 will soon come to an end, and “Without The Asking” will end it, and I have the impression that the time is as in The flight passed because Greaves spread a mood that you could quickly drop into and that you can’t let go of because it’s so pleasant. I would have found it even more pleasant if the texts had been included. Incidentally, the double album is dedicated to the father: “This album is dedicated to my dad George Greaves (28 Oct. 1926-15 Jan. 2020).”

Wolfgang Giese

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