David Ferrard – Broken Sky

Album Review | Flamingo Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

David Ferrard is a young Scottish/American topical songwriter who blends together his two genetic cultures remarkably well. Reminiscent of the 1960s protest singers, notably Harvey Andrews, both in terms of topical song writing and in sweetness of voice, Ferrard’s thoughtful songs cover a variety of subjects from the war in Iraq to reminiscences of youth by way of the odd country foot-tapper. “One Hell of a Ride”, an uplifting song with its country tinged slide guitar, almost imitating a pedal steel, becomes instantly radio friendly and could quite easily be the chart destined single from the album, if such things existed today. Ferrard’s strength is in his protest songs of which he crafts with a graceful passion. “Hills of Virginia”, possibly the stand out song on the album, squares up to the unjust war in Iraq and tells the tale from a surviving soldier’s point of view, carefully avoiding apportioning blame on any part, just stating the facts as they appear. Sometimes it’s the plain and simple truth that holds the power to convey the right message. On a lighter side, Ferrard’s vocal warmth is no better suited than on “Take Me Out Waltzing Tonight”, the triple meter invitation to dance, which would have even the strictest wallflowers on the dance floor before you could say 1,2,3. With a crystal clear vocal delivery and unfussy guitar accompaniment, and with help from a cast of tastefully clued-up musicians including Sandy Butler, Alan Thomson, Josh Goforth, Alyn Cosker, James Ross, Karine Polwart, Yvonne Lyon and Karen Dietzand as well as Brian Young (Runrig, John Martyn) at the controls, providing suitably pristine production, David Ferrard presents an accomplished debut.