Folk music is an interesting genre, as it can capture almost to perfection a lost love, celebrate a new one, record a phase of history in a unique and timeless way, or simply spread the word throughout society of things gone, to come or to celebrate as it has done since the days of traveling troubadours bringing with them the news of the day.
Boxrattler ergo singer songwriter Tony Mawdesley, has created another lovely folk/blues/jazz style collection in Sign of the Times, a work which has been coming together for a period of time, interrupted with moving countries and then the tragedy of COVID-19, which has, despite many challenges, born a album as enjoyable as it is indeed talking about a Sign of the Times.
As the signature piece, Sign of the Times, asks the question ‘will we ever be the same again………, all dressed up and nowhere to go’, which at the time of composition was perhaps more about a failing relationship, but ironically has captured almost to perfection the sad, frustrating and ever changing landscape of society, 2020 style.
The beautiful sentimental ballad Dare To Dream looks at hope, a fresh new dawn, different but the same. Some lovely guitar work is presented in this piece which is followed by the upbeat Fingers and Thumbs, looking at the beginning of a new romance and how a fresh new love often feels; romantic, a little scary and hopefully wonderful.
Bopping along is The narcissist and the muse which is a rather introverted piece, clean, catchy with a set of interesting lyrics, looking the good and bad side of love and possession, laced with regret and a form of acceptance.
Reminiscent of times past the bitter sweet One for the road, can be related to in so many ways; as a final drink before heading home, as a down at the heal pub which has seen its glory days but lives in hope to once again being glamorous, or as a place to go and forget ones sorrows in a glass of wine before moving on.
Mawdesley has included some old favourites, The Undertakers Daughter and the rather funky Making Hay in this retrospective look at love in its many forms, and in so many ways, unwittingly, has captured the emotions of the times in which we now live; times in which we are all having to look at life, at love and a fresh new road leading to a future that is none too familiar.
Sign of the Times is definitely a unique and fresh work to be enjoyed over and over again.