Review: Richie Milton and Bill Farrow – Barefoot and Blue

Posted on: Sunday, Jan 2, 2011

Artist: Richie Milton & Bill Farrow

Title: Barefoot & Blue

Label: Right Track Records RTR-S12011

Richie has teamed up with the veteran blues/folk player Bill Farrow to produce a fine collection of blues and skiffle. Each of them has written six original tunes; they take lead vocals on their own material but share the lead on the title number. Bill focuses upon the blues/folk numbers instilling them with a captivating mixture of gentle confidence, compassion and clarity. His unique ability to evoke a homely footapping and riveting atmosphere is more than amply displayed on each of the numbers. On Richie’s skiffling there is a refreshing briskness that promises (and delivers) much fun and jollification, he also, at times, exhibits a more sombre, sadder side; one indisputable fact emerges and this is; that after listening to the album a few times it becomes more and more apparent quite how much Richie’s very individual voice is a natural successor to the original ‘Skiffle King’ the late, great Lonnie Donegan.

Overall, the album entertainingly encompasses and displays examples of all of life’s rich and varied tapestries as can be found in the highs, the lows and  how to navigate the Hammersmith and City line.  One number which is particularly entrancing is “Blond Blue Baby” a slow burner  with lyrical guitar passages and poignant vocals from Richie; this number is truly a stark heartfelt homage to Gene Vincent and guitarist Cliff Gallup.

This is a calming, and affectionate collection of numbers which leave you with a warming glow and a sense of satisfaction with life.

A very enjoyable album, highly recommended!

Brian Harman

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