David Gibb and Brady Rymer – Songs Across the Pond

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

The most immediate sign that this is an album for children and families, is probably Stacey Thomas’s vivid artwork; a trailer load of musical instruments, an assortment of pond and wild life and two very distinct flags, though the song titles come a close second.  Derbyshire’s David Gibb joins hands across the Atlantic with New York-based Brady Rymer, who between them deliver an album of highly melodic and highly uplifting songs to brighten up even the dullest of days.  These are nursery songs for today’s generation, with road trips, the smell of summer, eternal friendship and both Albert Einstein and Mr Potato Head in the same verse.

In places, the material appears to focus on our Anglo/American connections and differences, such as “Roundabouts”, which I suspect is written from Brady’s perspective, whilst “Two Towns” shows our closeness despite the physical distance between us.  Then there’s “You Say This, I Say that”, which effectively clears up one or two misunderstandings we’ve picked up along the way and finally gets to the bottom of what exactly an eggplant is.  If the 3+ among us need a quick Fab Four primer, “Living in a Beatles Song” does the job fabulously, with its veritable roll call of Lennon/McCartney characters from Eleanor Rigby to Rocky Racoon.  There’s a couple of covers, Sam Cooke’s timeless “Twistin’ the Night Away” and Cat Stevens’ uber joyful reggae-fuelled “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out”, which is the best fun since Harold used to knock about with Maude.

Choice Track: Living in a Beatles Song (NSV 504)