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From Cerdes to Silver Town

BtP unravels The Common Thread CD from The Keith Reid Project

After all this time ... more than four decades since his pen first enthralled the listening world ... a Keith Reid solo album!

Keith ReidAnd a solo album of a most unusual sort, held together by the writing of the words, rather than by any particular composer or performer: it harbours music of many styles, and features many voices: and it's all very appetising, moreish stuff. Reid himself is the eponymous 'thread', and the CD graphics (by guitarist / Dylan-illustrator Eugen Kern-Emden) make this clear: on the front cover a pink-trousered figure an everyman figure, or the lyricist himself? walks into the frame, trailing a thread that on other pages appears festooned among the branches of a tree (no worm in sight), then encircling the publisher-details, and latterly, on the back cover, in the grasp of a crouching ape. Is the ape reeling this umbilicus in, or paying it out? The relationship between man and monkey will be made explicit as the album unfurls!

There is a further, unseen thread: Reid's words as they have unspooled progressively in the minds of Procol Harum fans, gradually shifting in tone from dreamlike through doomladen towards danceability, from sensual through self-referential towards sentimentality. To those who grew up listening to early Procol his lyrics seemed axiomatically irreducible, stubbornly resisting any single meaning: they were allusive, rhetorical, spiked with mischievous humour and threatened by an undertow of melancholy verging at times on the nihilistic. Only in later albums did his writing become more transparent: songs such as One More Time on The Prodigal Stranger, for instance, might have been written for and sung by any band, and seemed less Procolesque in consequence. But there is more to Reid than his Procol work, as this page attests: we have latterly come to know him as a jobbing songsmith, providing lyrics for a variety of singers and composers, working in popular markets where we could scarcely expect to find the Valkyries, pygmies, and other typewriter torments that distinguished the Old Testament Procol years.

John WaiteSo, to the current album, in which his collaborations with some top singers and composers are released under the umbrella title of 'The Keith Reid Project'. It opens very strongly with John Waite's emotional and appealingly melodic In God's Shadow, a powerful set of words that fans already know from Reid's My Own Choice lyric-book collection. There are some small differences of emphasis between this song and the printed version ('but' for 'and' and so on): but intriguingly Waite's version adds a couple of lines to the earlier text, and these appear in parentheses in the CD booklet. There's a more significant change too, where 'this matter of existence, our ship wasn't built to last' becomes 'this matter of resistance, our ship was built to last': perhaps singability trumped significance when these words made it from the page into the recording studio; or perhaps, as Keith now suspects, there was a typo in Charnel House's printed edition. The 2008 release is, of course, a different recording from the one issued on Waite's 1995 album, Temple Bar: none of the music on The Common Thread has been officially heard before. The 1995 recording was rather heavier, with piano and a more prominent guitar part weaving around the voice. The new version is a very radio-friendly track: lead guitar rides over strummed acoustics, and bass and drums give a strong forward impetus: the harmonies are slightly Procolesque as the bassline rides up through the chord-inversions into a very hummable and powerful chorus. There's much here to please any Procol fan: 'we're sailing out on troubled seas: nail our colours to the mast' as well as the existential content, as 'life's certainties slip away' and we finally 'lie down in God's shadow'. The current version is dedicated to Frankie LaRocka, the New York A&R man who is also name-checked on The Prodigal Stranger liner-note: as John Waite's drummer, he introduced Reid to the musicians who wrote this song (Waite is British by birth, but has lived in the USA for many years). It would be nice to know exactly who plays in the band but, as with all subsequent pieces, these details are omitted: 'Played arranged and produced by ... ' is the formula for every track, and the names following are usually those of the composers and Reid himself. This throws the emphasis squarely on the singing and the writing, which is evidently the compilers' intention.

Chris ThompsonThe second offering is the 'original version' of You're the Voice, Reid's other number one record (so far!), sung by its co-composer Chris Thompson, of Manfred Mann's Earthband fame. John Farnham's chart-topping version clearly followed this prototype very closely, though it dropped a whole tone, into F major, perhaps to allow him easier access to the falsetto notes that Chris Thompson finds so effortlessly here. This 1980s recording has a bit of period synth-percussion, yet the album is so well-mastered by Fred Kevorkian, known for work with Ryan Adams, Willie Nelson, The White Stripes, Dave Matthews Band, Iggy Pop a.o. that the tracks' very diverse origins do not impinge on the ear at all. It's otherwise a good deal less poppy, more demanding, than the famous version with its compressed piano and its skirling bagpipe break. In particular, Chris Thompson's version uses a pedal bass note in the chorus, whereas Farnham's bassist followed the chord-changes. Thompson's bassist gets a good break towards the end of the song, though; elsewhere there's a sax tootling away that spawned no equivalent in the Farnham version. Lyrically this track is very assertive and inclusive: we share 'the power to be powerful' and we can 'write what we wanna write'; but it is also somewhat generic, in that the exact cause for the fighting is not specified. 'We have a chance to turn the pages over' suggests a clean start, a wish to close the book on a period of gun-dominated history: Procol-lovers will note a kinship of imagery with (You Can't) Turn Back the Page. Unlike many of the pieces on this album, Keith wrote the words to an existing melodic outline provided by Chris Thompson. The two men got to know each other after meeting at a studio: Chris is of course the co-composer of a Procol tune, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle. How ironic that Thompson's Voice was not released on the solo-album he was then working on, since his producers didn't see its commercial potential: yet the song achieved world-wide fame, and has since been covered by artists as diverse as Alan Parsons, Barbara Dickson, John Miles and Brenda Cochrane.

Michael SaxellThe music takes a sparser turn for the minor-key The Heartbreak House, sung and composed by Michael Saxell. Saxell is Swedish, but no trace of this shows in his voice: he's entirely at home in the lingua franca of male rock styling. There's a tinge of Dylan in the world-weary vocal of this anti-military ditty, which is also played with a slightly Dylanesque feel, Oh Mercy-period guitar jangling and up-front drums, and plenty of dynamic contrast following the story. A nameless woman has fallen for a military man, and pays the inevitable price: lyrically there are some predictable moments, but they're easy to overlook amid arcane images like growing cobwebs and aching floorboards (presumably in the latter case there is a pun, conscious or otherwise, on the word 'pine'). At 3:18 this is the shortest track on the album, and it's very catchy. How did Reid team up with Saxell? Almost unbelievably, he was head-hunted by an intermediary in a telephone call that began, 'My name is Ingmar Bergman, and I'm a great admirer of your work ...'. Keith relates that he responded by saying that he was a great admirer of Bergman's work ... but it turned out to be a different Bergman! Reid's American connections can be heard in the sound-world presented here: Saxell originally recorded just guitar and voice, in Sweden: Keith saw the piece rather differently and took it to upstate New York where the additional instruments were added, and where it was mixed. It's by no means the only track on the album to have covered a lot of ground during its gestation.

Southside JohnnyA Common Thread is another lyric encountered in the My Own Choice collection, although there it is called 'The Common Thread' like the present CD album. Southside Johnny gives a stirring account of Reid's words, making no changes bar the addition of a soulful 'Yes it does' (which is bracketed in the CD's lyric booklet). Here again we encounter the idea that 'there's a voice ... that belongs to all of us', somehow a far cry from the frequently alienated world of early-period Reid (but never fear: we haven't got to the monkey song yet!). A Common Thread starts, as Reid is wont to do, by capturing the listener with a well-known phrase 'hearts of oak' which he mutates later to 'hearts of gold' while cataloguing the earthy artisan virtues that hold our lives together, and contrasting them with the (literally, middle-class) activities of those 'just busy making deals'. The rueful moral seems to be that physical work is 'a story that everybody needs, but nobody heeds'. The 'thread' image is skilfully exploited for a double meaning, signifying a unifying theme as well an item of haberdashery: the whole piece works extremely well. Thread is the first song on the album whose instrumentation is thoroughly Procolesque: piano, Hammond, guitar, bass and drums introduce a chord sequence (the music is by Procol collaborator Matt Noble) that echoes Air on a G String, albeit in A major. Although space constraints again preclude a full who-did-what, the brass arranger, keyboardist Barry Goldberg, does get an individual and well-deserved credit. This is a big, mellow ballad, the sort that Joe Cocker has made his own: it would be a pleasure to hear those tonsils wrapped around this piece, perhaps earning Reid some more of the contemporary exposure he so obviously merits. Yet Southside Johnny's performance is excellent, and highlights one of the major selling-points of this album: it contains a profusion of strikingly good singers. Perhaps nobody matches the poignant clarity and drama of Gary Brooker's delivery, but undoubtedly nobody is trying to quite rightly so. There are several songs here, however, that it would be good to hear Brooker tackle. We might wonder if any of these words are lingering, unset, in the large album of Reid lyrics to which Brooker turns when writing new material; but my understanding is that Keith doesn't typically like to send the same lyric out to more than one composer, and the instances (Into the Flood, Victims of the Fury) where different Trower and Brooker settings are extant have come about only because Gary had sat on the words so long that they were offered afresh and in good faith to Robin, whose versions didn't come to Brooker's notice until after his own composing was done.

Bernie ShanahanNext, a song about a graveyard. Potters Field is a generic name for strangers' burial-grounds, but after name-checking Judas and 'his Lord' Reid focuses on the weed-choked Potters Field on Hart Island, off Long Island Sound, the largest cemetery in the USA: it's one of several songs on the album to centre upon a particular place, real or otherwise. The lyric deals with two inhabitants of this graveyard, one 'refugee from a far-off land' whose 'dreams were bought and sold'; the other a young woman who turns to selling herself to fuel a drug habit and 'got too high, or maybe she forgot to fly'. There is a kind of melancholy word-play in 'they laid her low', as the burials are described, and some real Liquorice John imagery in 'she hit the ground in Potters Field' (the placename no more needs an apostrophe than Shepherds Bush does, by the way). So far, so Procoloid: but the mood here is tinged with folk, as the track starts with just two steel-strung guitars, finger-picked with plenty of fret-squeak, later joined by unobtrusive bass: Bernie Shanahan sings this plaintive piece (composed by Michael Saxell) with great feeling: the album is on the whole very much a sung sequence, with relatively-few featured instrumental passages. Latterly the choruses feature multi-tracked vocals, and it's easy to imagine this song being performed in a folk-club, extracting maximum effect from a minimum of technical resources.

John WaiteOn the other hand the instrumental playing on Gold Fever is unmissable, showily virtuosic. Co-composer Jeff Golub sounds like Manitas de Plata as his flamenco guitar scampers all over this hectic, Latino-oriented offering. On one level it harks back to the Californian gold-rush, but the imagery resonates more with contemporary life in LA's Tinseltown: the male character has a script under consideration, but isn't considered bankable: he's known the high life, having made some money 'before the boom went splash' (classic Reid catachresis here!), but now turns, like the girl in the previous song, to 'a silver spoon' ironically divorced from its usual, upbeat metaphorical meaning. In its treatment of betrayal, the song carries a hint of the world of Wall Street Blues. It's not quite clear to me how the first verse relates to the rest of this song: it begins with 'a struggle on the causeway' and a lapse 'of sacred trust'. But this non-linearity isn't a defect for the Procol fan: after 38 years of listening I still can't get Whaling Stories to come into focus fully and I'm sure it's not meant to. Musically, this track is a highlight: John Waite's delivery is terrific again, more than a hint of Dylan, Blood on the Tracks period perhaps and the slightly astringent relation of the tune to the chordal accompaniment is deliciously haunting. Insistent handclaps complete the Hispanic soundworld. Memo to self: listen to more Waite. Intriguingly, considering the fact that Reid's songwriting life has been divided between Britain and the USA, the lyric booklet uses the transAtlantic 'honor' alongside the native 'jewellery': what are we to make of this!

Bernie ShanahanA glance at the mere track-listing might suggest that Venus Exploding would be a comic song involving iconic statuary and gelignite, but that's far from the case: the Venus in question is the planet, and the context is cataclysmic. The night sky is on fire, the stars fall down, yet it starts gently, in a far-away, melodic mood, like an offering from The Prodigal Stranger, and has similar compound-time feel to Perpetual Motion. Composer Matt Noble, of course, is credited as a co-author of that late Procol track, and this is the song that most-closely approximates to the Harum sound-world: piano-chords alternate over a held bass note, heavy guitar emphasises the movement of the bassline when it eventually detaches itself from root position. The grandiloquent drums also recall the dramatic punctuations of BJ Wilson, but here they are heavily-processed, so the instrumental track doesn't entirely sound like a live band, but rather diverts the mind's ear to the multi-track studio. The song slows to a definite, stately conclusion, yet guitar and piano play on, momentarily, into an unexpected semi-fade. The words involve searching for some meaning when 'the signs were deceiving'. An eerie atmosphere prevails, though latter-day Reid is more wont to spell it out ('a strange misty haze') than in former, more allusive times. Nevertheless lines like 'lost in the mirror' take us through The Hand that Rocks the Cradle right back to the days of A Whiter Shade of Pale, and there is a fascinating instance of Thomas Hardy-style 'cunning irregularity' in that 'tossed between dreams and awakening', in the first verse, mutates to 'lost between truth and awakening' in the second. Similarly the opening chorus is first-person past-tense, the closing one second-person future. Bernie Shanahan's performance is strong, his voice warm, but arguably he is fulfilling the role of identikit rock balladeer, rather than that of an alienated visionary searching for meaning (the soaring guitar solo is similarly generic). I found him more affecting on Potters Field, but this is still an excellent track, whose haunting, hymn-like chorus sticks deliciously in the mind, with the utter simplicity of a classic.

Chaz JankelThe Only Monkey is the album's most recently-recorded track. It's a stingingly satirical swipe at homo sapiens, mordant, insistent, and bleakly hilarious. 'The human is a monkey with a diseased brain' (later 'heart', latterly 'soul') in Reid's vision: he 'makes killing a game', 'takes pleasure from pain', 'blows things apart', and uniquely in the animal world he 'needs things to do' and is 'in search of a goal'. The middle-eight section runs, 'he'll sell his own soul for a gallon of gas' (not 'petrol' as it's known in the UK!), 'turn trees into paper to wipe his own ass'. This sort of scathing wit is worth reams of pious eco-cant, and it is brilliantly set to music by a collaborator Reid has long admired, the marvellous Chaz Jankel, who is still touring with The Blockheads, and must have welcomed the chance to work with a lyric on a par with the late Ian Dury's best inspirations. Biological pedants will flinch at the category error in 'from the mightiest ape to the tiny boll weevil, the only monkey that you can call evil' but in fact this literal inaccuracy only adds to the fun: likewise, the way the savagery of the verses, whose key-word is 'diseased', gives over to a playground-taunting chorus where the central notion is the weedily-repeated 'silly'. No stranger to the top of the charts, Jankel has come up with an catchy, unpretentious, danceable ditty: he hits us with his rhythm stick, as it were, with steady drumming, offbeat guitaring, and plonking wah-wah clavinet. What sounds simple is kept interesting with subtle variations, such as a thread of backward guitar, some Beatlish arpeggiations, foolish toy-noises, and a cracking solo guitar break. A repeated and highly unconventional jump-cut from G minor to A flat major and back adds a Squeeze-like freshness and individuality. BtP asked Keith Reid if he could be heard anywhere on the album, and he conceded that he was audible, but declined to be specific: my guess is that his voice is involved in the amusingly-distorted call-and-response vocal. It's all neatly-rhymed, except for 'earth' and 'self', which curiously retreads the least euphonious couplet in The Emperor's New Clothes: 'You promise the moon and squander the earth / The only person you fool is yourself'. If I had my pick The Only Monkey would be the single from the album: punchy, pointed, modern in sound, and full of provoking soundbites: 'the human is the monkey who invented the Zoo ...' (I wonder if the capital letter in the lyric-booklet harks back to Procol's briefly-supportive 1990s record-label?)

Chris ThompsonA diametrical shift of emphasis brings us to a big ballad, It Might Be Your Heart, sung by Chris Thompson, who wrote the music with keyboardist Mark Taylor. Procol-fanciers will be immediately struck by the featured phrase 'too much between us' in the chorus: in 1969 this was the enigmatic title of Procol's tenderest piece to date, depicting lovers separated by the Atlantic, and where 'between us' compendiously signified and emphasised the incompatibility of simultaneous separation and mutual affection. That early song left everything to the imagination: in Blakean terms, it was born of innocence rather than experience. It's no surprise that, so many years later, Reid now writes more from the latter point-of-view. This is presumably what people call 'AOR' it lacks the Juvenile-Oriented Rock elements that made the Monkey track such fun as it poses the middle-aged question of how 'a lifetime of growing together' can be 'over so fast'. The lyric is not afraid to preach ('if you take love for granted then love disappears') nor does it shy away from the stock-in-trade dependables of 'your whole world falls down / and skies full of dreams / come crashing to the ground'. No doubt there is a big market for this kind of work, and no doubt this is a satisfyingly well-done example of its kind: but it did not chime with this particular reviewer greatly, though the melody is catchy enough. 'What can I do / With this space between me and you', Thompson emotes authentically over piano, organ, bass and drums, with guitar offbeat clipping: midway it grows orchestration and female backing-voices. Despite a similarity to Crucifiction Lane in terms of tempo, this is nothing like Procol Harum music, and it's as well to remember that the album is not specifically aimed at fans of that band. For all I know this is the piece of The Common Thread that will get the most air-play, or attract the most cover-versions. Reid mentioned in conversation that 'It will be interesting to know if [the BtP public] think any of this is like Procol Harum' but added that 'I don't write Procol Harum words specifically'. As a working songwriter, compiling a sampler CD of 'words I'm really proud of', he is showing a full, and enviable, range on this recording.

Steve BookerSilver Town, sung by Steve Booker, is a delectable number with a folkish feel. The British songwriter-producer's own MySpace bills him as 'Pop/Acoustic/Soul', and he's best-known as the author of Duffy's massive 2008 summer hit, Mercy, currently topping the 1.5m sales mark. Reid and Booker were put in touch by publishers, maybe by Simon Platz, who is credited in the CD booklet for 'taking care of business': yet Steve's roster of collaborations, here, rather curiously doesn't include either of the Booker/Reid (!) songs on this album. He has a very agreeable, carefully-controlled voice, bereft of posturing. The chorus is delightful, strongly haunting (incidentally, it shares its IV-V-I harmonies with the similarly-strong refrain to Venus Exploding): this is another piece one could imagine sung by massed voices in a folk-club setting. Interviewed earlier this year for The Argotist, Reid divulged ' ... my definition of a great song would be something that can be put across with very limited instrumentation ... it's all the devices of rhyming schemes, hooks, choruses etc. that contribute to making a song memorable ... if you've just got a guitar and a voice your song has to be special in order to survive.' This poignant narrative song is certainly a survivor. The opening line, 'This town's been blown away', immediately calls to mind London's disastrous Silvertown explosion in 1917, yet the repeated allusions to 'Washington' show that once again the setting is not British but American. Yet this Silver Town is an imaginary place, intended to symbolise any small community ('built from a grain of sand') whose fate is dependent on a remote government. 'It's talking about the relationship between big business and administration,' Keith told BtP. The contrast between this fictional place and Cerdes (Outside the Gates of) neatly epitomises another transition in Reid's songwriting over forty years, from 1967's disturbing, surreal fancies to today's topical, politically-pointed narratives. There is, it seems, a humorous reference, a pun, somewhere in this lyric, and Keith thinks BtP should offer a prize to the first reader to write in explaining it. I confess that it eludes this reviewer, though there is nonetheless plenty of felicitous wordplay: 'blew (?blue) us out of the sky', 'though the money's all run out / there's a wealth of folk', 'When they turned up the heat in Washington / they left us out in the cold'. Skilfully painting the small-town scene, in few words, Reid evokes the railway and the church: 'the wheels still turn ... the bells ring out of time'. The song asks 'Has the Lord passed us by?', and it's not the only instance of Christian imagery in this collection: Potters Field quotes seven words verbatim from the King James Bible (curiously Judas's reward was pieces of silver, a word heard relatively often on the album), Too Close to Call speaks of 'praying to the Lord', and the spirituality of the God's Shadow lyric is enhanced by its dedication to the late LaRocka, who 'lies in God's Shadow now'.

Southside JohnnyNinety-Nine Degrees in the Shade, sung by Southside Johnny, is the least polite song on the album, in that it sounds as if it's come direct from a stage somewhere, rather than having its origins in a studio: it's also less sophisticated in structure than most of the other pieces, in that it is untroubled by a middle-eight. It's a medium-paced, sleazy rock number, composition credited to John Lyon (who probably wasn't 'Southside' to his mother). It would be good to know who is playing this nice dirty guitar it sounds so live that there is even a glitch (1:38) in the stereo image and the fluent bass and the wallopingly syncopated drums. These are the only musical resources, save a second guitar part and a maraca or two. The words are witty and unexpected ('hear that asphalt bubble' for instance): the first and third verses in particular are just perfect of their kind, as the 'hurricane' woman on her Harley blows into town where Southside is 'selling sneakers' or 'working in a bar', until some astrological hokum (she calls it 'astronomy') leads to their brief conjunction, and suddenly we're watching 'her tail-lights fade'. Southside Johnny's delivery brilliantly combines gruff machismo with an acknowledgement of defeat by an elemental force; his extemporising in the playout (noted here) is great fun too. Top marks for this track ... though we have heard it before: Keith Reid didn't know it until after the tracklist was finalised, but Southside Johnny released this track in a 'not authorised' form, on a gigs-only CD, a few years ago.

Terry ReidThe legendary Terry Reid has a hard act to follow, as the running-order has panned out. Too Close to Call is a night-time FM radio-oriented piece, and his striking voice, with its haunting falsettos, is ghosted by a female vocalist almost inaudible at times to very interesting effect. The music is credited to Barry Goldberg (Electric Flag, anybody?), who was responsible for reintroducing Reid to Reid: the Terry Reid Trio (which later included Pete Solley) had toured with Procol in the earliest days. To a driving rhythm, with effective brass and reeds here and there, the song catalogues some 'everyman' activities (with a touch of Raymond Carver, when the blue-collar basics of 'walking down the street ... drinking in a bar ... dancing with your wife' are disturbed by 'howling at the moon'!), then reflects on the capriciousness of fate. 'It's too early to say / where the pieces will fall ... it's just a stroke of luck'. It remains ambiguous as to whether good luck or bad luck is intended: both 'fall' and 'stroke' have fatal connotations. Only the middle section, 'Happiness is just a state of mind', commits itself to a definite message; and fans reared on Old Testament Reid will have to get used to his growing explicitude. This is a solid, likeable piece, yet I confess that it's the one point on the album where I took my ear off the ball, as it were. Its hypnotically-unvarying drum part may be the reason, or maybe it's just the fact that it crops up, 45 minutes in, at some innate threshold of concentration. If so, shuffle-mode will cure it. The official running-order, however, was the subject of 'endless rearrangement ... as much effort as any of the rest of it,' according to Keith, so it would be a pity to tamper with his programming. I do note, however, that the last three numbers come close to violating the Procol principle that guarantees aural freshness by ensuring that adjacent tracks are not in the same key. Whereas the songs so far have been in A / G / E minor / A / E minor / A minor / B / G minor / C / F#, the last three are in E major, E minor and E major again.

Steve BookerThe artful Steve Booker, however, starts Right About Now on the subdominant, which lessens any unwanted sense of tonal continuity; and he follows this with a plangent guitar discord that sets the atmosphere well for the album's final, sad story: it might equally have been titled He's Leaving Home. Lyrically this is another 'grown-up' item (surely a preferable term to 'AOR'), and Booker sings his very melodic lines in sincere, unostentatious fashion. It's loosely built on two meanings of 'right': one suggesting immediacy, as the abandoned lover finds the letter explaining 'right about now I'll become a stranger', and one suggesting correctitude: 'so hard to be right about you'. This is an emotionally-complex offering ('I dried your tears, tried to make them disappear'), dealing with authentic symptoms of desperation ('the walls will close in so fast ... you'll wonder if you're gonna last') but not shying away from endemic Reid wordplay (the 'damn your tears' pun works only because we have the printed words, and it's worth mentioning that the typographic layout has been given a lot of interesting thought). Once again, strummed acoustic guitar is the backbone of this song, though bass and organ, and harmony voices, make a good solid contribution; drums are effectively withheld until the halfway mark, there's a hint of accordion, and what sounds like a left-hand piano note adds dark colour to the instrumental texture.

Keith ReidFinishing in a fade (as more than half the pieces do) this bittersweet confessional makes an unconventionally downbeat conclusion to the album, but let us hope it is not the end of this particular thread in Keith Reid's long involvement in the music business. He mentions that these are by no means the only songs that he's written with the present collaborators, and that there were 'plenty of other items that might have made the cut'. There was theoretically room for another five or so songs on the CD but, as Keith says, '55 minutes seems plenty: sometimes too much is worse than not enough. These are just music and words that I'd like people to hear.'

So let us hope that the album gets a lot of radio exposure, and that people really do hear it. Click here to pre-order your own copy from Amazon: it's a highly listenable, rewarding CD, distinguished by excellent writing and singing. 'I'm hoping this will be only Volume I,' said Keith Reid, winding up his brief chat with BtP about the album. That's our hope too.

Roland Clare

The album can be pre-ordered, as of 1 September 2008, from Amazon UK: shipping will be 15 September: click here


The Common Thread The Keith Reid Project

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