Wednesday, January 25, 2012

‘Man with a Love Song’ by James Hill

25 January 2012

The humble ukulele has undergone a renaissance in recent years, with its notable appearances including ‘Bang Goes the Knighthood’ by The Divine Comedy (reviewed here in June 2010), the eclectic music of Beirut (reviewed here in November 2006 and October 2007), the phenomenal posthumous success of the late Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and the ubiquitous Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (reviewed here in July 2010). James Hill is a Canadian singer, songwriter and ukulele player and his latest album ‘Man with a Love Song’ is a lovely, varied set of songs – laid-back, gentle and playful tunes. James Hill also plays banjo and piano and is joined by the cellist Anne Davison. He uses the ukulele thoughtfully and sparingly: there is little of the clichéd frantic strumming here. And the pick of the tracks, for me, is the haunting, moving ballad ‘High Demand’ – a beautiful song.

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