Maddison’s Thread – Sixty Minutes an Hour

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Damian Liptrot | Stars: 4/5

My travelling companion is sixty years old, she is the sister of my good wife. We listened and believe these songs should be received with good grace. The day after our journey, we return to the car and as we start the CD replays. We both comment that we still have songs going round in our head. It turns out that they are different ones but between us there is half the album in there. This is good. It is not hard to thoroughly enjoy this album, the Thread’s eponymous leader, Lee’s love of both music and words shines through every track and he is promiscuous in his flirtation with genres. Sure there’s folk but there is rock, blues, a little jazz and should you hanker after a little French café music, yes that’s in there as well. Despite all the influences and the cast of friends and their varied instruments Lee assembled for the album, there is not a note out of place. It isn’t a case of less is more – this is not spartan music, it can be deep, textured and luxuriant but it is very much a case of enough is exactly enough – his take on Roy Harper’s “Flycatcher” is an inspired reimagining, reminiscent of Barclay James Harvest in their pomp, yet he can also be fragile and vulnerable as well – this is an album that creates a satisfying whole from disparate elements and is all the better for it. Right from the opening track which nods towards both Middle Eastern themes and bossa-nova, there are surprises and delights throughout. Lyrically the album is never less than interesting, shining lights on personal relationships and insightful social commentary. The first theme also involves a delight filled duet with ‘voice of an angel’ Edwina Hayes, and the latter on “Parasitelful”, which also called to mind the much overlooked Kevin McDermott Orchestra. Lee’s choice of Edwina as a vocal partner is wise indeed as they complement each other magnificently, Lee’s voice could be likened to suede, smooth but with enough of a nap to make it both distinctive and interesting. An album bearing repeat listenings on long journeys and at destinations alike. Wristband, you don’t need no wristband. You just need a Maddison my friend. And yes, he does remind me of Paul Simon at times and that can never be a bad thing!