Many will know veteran singer songwriter and guitarist Tony Mawdesley from his many incarnations, that of Boxrattler, You and I, The Brendan Collins Band, Made By Machines and many other solo gigs throughout Florida and his earlier days in Britain.
Returning to his native Britain, this talented musician has released his latest solo album Dare To Dream, in which he looks at life, simply as it is, the ups, downs and often sideways times that come whenever major change takes place.
Commencing with the lovely piece Sign of The Times, a folk song offering a warm invitation to come in, spend a little time reflecting on times long gone and the lessons learned; the lyrics posing the timeless question “will we ever be the same again?”
A delightful, mellow song Don’t Know Why, penned by Jesse Harris in 1999, covered by Norah Jones in 2002 has a gentle, reflective melody with introspective lyrics once again questioning; a piece which will resonate and interestingly, offers an unusual understanding of life and its many journeys.
All of Me is a very personal cover of the song made famous by John Legend on his Love In The Future album released in 2013, raw, emotional and dedicated to love, pure, personal and often imperfect, whereas Starlight is a rather sombre song about breaking up, cutting loose, reflection and acceptance.
Further into the album is the catchy Rent Man, a blues style piece which changes the pace, presenting a loose narrative common to modern ‘blues’ and when sung with Mawdesley’s slightly gritty style, is upbeat, catchy and toe tappingly enjoyable.
The beautiful song Holding you up to the light, offers a very real set of lyrics in gratitude to making things all right, and how one person can create change by simply being themselves.
A very wry piece is Don’t Make Me Laugh, a piece everyone can relate to at some time of their life, when ego gets the top billing and then the fall out needs to be dealt with, cleaned up and a result achieved. Wry indeed!
Dare to Dream is the title track but also the final one, a piece in which the guitar work offers a gentle, all-encompassing element for a fresh new beginning, a beginning where the sun and rain have washed away the emotions of the past, to usher in a new beginning where you can Dare to Dream once again.
Folk music at its very best, simple, clean and well-constructed, the fourteen tracks on Dare To Dream are emotive, interesting, cathartic and in spite of the sombre element, absolutely enjoyable, presenting a collection of both original scores and covers which will certainly be enjoyed time and time again.