Sanders, Ric - Still Waters,
This 2008 album from Ric Sanders is a sheer delight, just beautiful from beginning to end. Ric has now been part of Fairport Convention for more than thirty years, and everyone involved in the band since he joined is involved in this as well as such musicians as Ian Anderson, John Etheridge and Gordon Giltrap. Obviously, it is going to be of great interest to Fairport fans, especially as there are a couple versions of “Portmeiron” as well as “The Rose Hip” and “A Year and a Day”. But, I do get the impression that this is a compilation with just some new songs, instead of all brand-new recordings.
Putting that to one side, it is wonderful to hear Ric totally in his element, providing the lead on wonderfully arranged delicate (mostly) acoustic numbers. Since Chris Leslie joined Fairport there has been less opportunity for Ric to shine on his own, as they obviously often utilise a twin fiddle attack, but to someone who saw the Nicol/Mattacks/Pegg/Sanders/Allcock line-up many times it is wonderful to step back in time and listen to him take centre stage once again. He originally joined Fairport to replace the irreplaceable Dave Swarbrick, which was always going to be an impossible job, but with a different more fluid style he soon made the position his own. This album is a wonderful collection of great material, and is indispensable not only to Fairport fans but also to anyone who enjoys fiddle-driven acoustic music. This is very much an album to sit and relax to, super from beginning to end. For more details on Ric’s work visit either www.talkingelephant.co.uk or www.fairportconvention.com