COPYRIGHT © 2005 DAVE GOULDER
The Folk Revival - Fred Woods
The songs relating to this period of his life established him as a songwriter of considerable potential, particularly in the eyes of other musicians. In public terms, little was known of him as he rarely left the Ross-shire glen where, until a few years ago, he ran a mountaineering hostel; nevertheless his song “January Man” was immediately accepted as one of the outstanding songs written during the revival period. It is, indeed, a remarkable song, written specifically for unaccompanied singing and lyrically so accomplished that it is now taught in schools as a poem.
The transition from the industrial Midlands to the Torridon Mountains inevitably provided Goulder with another source of raw material. In this later phase he produced many fine songs on natural themes, though few were idyllic. Indeed, and perhaps aptly for a man who lived in such rugged terrain, some even tended towards the macabre; Goulder is not an experienced naturalist for nothing.
Cyril Tawney - Folk Review
The bizarre streak shows itself often, as in “Three old men”, “The Raven and the crow” and the very eerie, “A most unpleasant way”, but most of all in “The carpenter and the sexton”. For me this is the outstanding song of 1971 and I can hear every songwriter echoing my reaction “God, I wish I’d written that.”
The creation of such material is near impossible without some prior study of British traditional songs, and it is the absence of such groundwork that clearly reveals itself in the tepid outpourings of so many current “folk” bards. Their produce is for the most part disappointingly rootless. Dave Goulder, on the other hand, while not always choosing to write in the traditional idiom, appears at all times to be at least glancing over his shoulder at it.
Goulder’s control and use of the macabre is one of his strongest assets; the characteristic is totally individual in the field of contemporary folksong though the influence of tradition has prompted many attempts in the genre. One of his more recent songs, “The Sexton and the Carpenter” is comedy noire at its best (or worst).
At the same time, it would be misleading to over emphasize this aspect of Goulder’s work. Songs such as “When They Laid You in the Earth" (a title reminiscent of Henry Purcell though the song’s content is very different), “Cold Unfriendly Way” and “Sandwood Down to Kyle” display a longing and a warmth that occasionally seem to be lacking in much contemporary song.
The Folk Revival – Fred Woods
Dave Goulder writes superb songs, finely crafted and welded to tunes as naturally as one stone sits on another in one of his dry stone dykes. “ I recommend singers and writers to get this collection.”
Brian Miller, Broadbeat.
“January Man” . Written by Dave Goulder, a one-time footplate man in the good old days of steam. This I believe, is one of the most perfect songs ever written. “Thanks Dave, for a great song.”
“His preoccupations as a songwriter remain the savage and/or beautiful imagery of wild life, the moody evocation of rural scenes, and of course, the sheer comic force of much human behaviour, all often interlaced with references to the changing seasons. He is a complete individual as a writer and a singer”.
Alastair Clark, The Scotsman
“Requiem for Steam", Big Ben 00.04”
Champion stuff, this. Brimming with humor and sensitivity. Is there a better writer in the British folk mould than Dave Goulder?
The Scotsman "The Man Who Put the Engine in the Chip Shop"
“His clever rhymes and gentle melodies are engaging stuff, and will probably sell in thousands at steam-ups all over the country”.
Tony Rose, The Guardian
“Filed under E for essential”.
Folk 88 “Rivetingly original”
Scott Alaric, Boston Globe “Requiem for Steam”
“ A recommended addition to the record library of any railway enthusiast.”
Railway Magazine Dave Goulder’s music deserves a wider hearing by American audiences. His lyrics and musical arrangements are extraordinarily well crafted. Our audience was much impressed both by Dave’s music and by Dave himself… a man of keen insight and gentle humour.
Ed Brown, “UnI” Coffee House,
Mr Goulder’s witty banter between numbers brought the crowd to life… The singer/songwriter took a more poignant turn with “Last Train”, a nostalgic look at the demise of steam, and “Colors”, a tune by Robin Milford based on words by Thomas Hardy”.
Susan Gonsalves, Southern
Massachusetts Eisteddfod 'The Golden Days of Steam'
"It isn't very often that a recording gets your attention from the very first sound but this one does"
John Bentham, EFDSS
With great enjoyment and pleasure I listened to Dave Goulder. He sang of horses, trains and fare-de-wells in a way that made him companionable.
Edinburgh Folk Festival
'The Golden Days of Steam'
"... all the songs here reflect upon the age of steam. The early works are reminiscent of (and some just as good as) MacColl's industrial ballads. The rapid delivery and galloping nylon strung guitar on some of the tracks also bring to mind the songs of Jake Thackery."
Neil Brookes, Shreads & Patches
'A Gathering of Stones'
Dave Goulder and Friends
"This is a CD which definitely needs listening to - the more I played it, the more I liked it... He's succeeded in providing real atmosphere with audio clips from the great outdoors, reflections on the camaraderie between wallers, different words from many places."
Will Noble, English Dance and Song
'The Golden Days of Steam'
"These songs ... could scarcely have been written by anyone who hadn't served his time on the old British Railways. It's good to have these recordings available once more." Dave Tuxford, Living Tradition 'A Gathering of Stones'
"You could call it a labour of love, but it is more than that: it records in music and words all the sounds and feels and harshness and beauty of the craft which all wallers identify with.
David Griffiths, Waller & Dyker
"This new CD,'A Gathering of Stones', is a compilation of musical works and readings by several artists and speakers. The works are well spaced and very enjoyable to listen to... The whole CD is delightfully comprehensive and comprehensible."
John Shaw-Rimmington, DSWAC 'A Gathering of Stones'
"One could offer the analogy that each of the individual audio stones making up this disc is placed so that the entire sequence is attractive to the ear; the work of a master craftsman indeed." David Kidman, Living Tradition
Copyright © by Dave Goulder All Right Reserved.
Published on: 2005-11-29 (15002 reads)
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