When an eighteen year old Blair Dunlop chose “Canadee-I-O” to open his debut EP, it was the boldest of beginnings. The traditional song is synonymous with Nic Jones’s seminal, celebrated 1980 recording, and Dunlop’s take was creditable. If the passing down of tradition determines the folk scene’s dynastic streak, it must also encourage an evolutionary spirit.
With his second album, Blair Dunlop sets out to prove that he is not just an excellent young guitarist but an increasingly adventurous songwriter. He composed all but one of the songs here (the final track was written by his dad, Ashley Hutchings, along with his former Albion Band colleague Ken Nicol), and the range is impressive. He starts out with a contemporary murder ballad, a story of schoolyard bullying and revenge, and moves on to deal with anything from Italian football to philosophy.