Gavin Sutherland – A Traveller’s Tales

Album Review | Self Release | Self Release | Stars: 4/5

It’s still difficult to hear the name Gavin Sutherland without being instantly reminded of such engaging melodies as “Love on the Moon”, “Midnight Rendezvous” or the lilting “Lifeboat”, along with elder brother Iain’s highly melodic “When the Train Comes”, “Moonlight Lady” and most memorably, “Arms of Mary”, during the Sutherland Brothers’ creative peak. I say ‘creative peak’, but perhaps that should be amended to ‘peak of their popularity’, as the two musicians, now into their autumn years, are still creating fine songs. A Traveller’s Tale is Gavin Sutherland’s sixth solo album to date and once again builds on a prolific catalogue of fine self-penned songs, created in quite a different way to those memorable SB&Q LPs of the 1970s. The internet provides new opportunities for communicating between musicians and the dozen songs here eloquently demonstrate that the distance in miles can be reduced to a matter of millimeters when using current studio technology. Those musicians, which include Seattle’s Nancy K Dillon, together with Heidi Browne, Dave Sutherland and Nick Zaka, offer fine contributions to each of the songs, delivered in Gavin’s now familiar, almost JJ Cale-like growl. The swampish vocal sounds are so authentic that “Wheels are Rolling” and “The Bend in the River” could be mistaken for something recorded in Muscle Shoals, rather than on the north-east coast of Scotland.