Album Review: David Rotheray – ‘Answer Ballads’
David Rotheray, co-founder of the Beautiful South, returns with a breezy and melancholy collection of what he describes as answer ballads – attempts to extend the story about a character from a popular song. The style of the songs in no way replicates the originals, but is an expression of the amazing folk talents that collaborate on the album such as Eliza Carthy and Alasdair Roberts. The 13 ballads here relate to familiar fictional figures. The most stunning is ‘Jolene’s Song’ – based on the Dolly Parton classic, here rendered profoundly moving by Julie Murphy who sings about the character rejecting the charm her own beauty has over men.