Simon Fox,
Night Fishing
(self-produced, 2003)

Sometimes we forget the elements that great musicians in the background add to our favourite songs and tunes. In many ways, the guitarist can be the unsung hero of folk music. He or she can add that extra bit that makes a good song great. In folk music, the image of the strolling player with a guitar case slung over the shoulder is ubiquitous.

Simon Fox is one of the guitarists who comes centre stage and reminds us of the magic of that piece of wood with metal and strings. This collection of 14 tracks cannot fail to capture your ear, heart and imagination.

One possible drawback for some listeners is that all the tracks are new and self-penned. Sadly, some of us seek out the familiar and are reluctant to try completely new experiences. Do not let such unfounded fear keep you from this cornucopia of music.

From the opening track, "The Ullapool Decision," through "Eleven Icebergs" to "Mapping the Paddocks," you will be captivated. The notes tell us that Aussies tasting fish and chips in Scotland could have inspired the first tune.

It is amazing as you listen, knowing the background, how these tunes give flight to your imagination. Listening to "The Fisherman" you can -- if you are willing -- be transported to the mellow misty Highlands for a beautiful short stay with rod and line. The use of the violin in the latter stages gives it the spark to make it my favourite track on the CD.

This CD is a beautiful experience. It will calm the soul and allow you to chill out better than any organic substance.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 11 December 2004