Monday 8 October 2012

The folkin' brilliance of Charles Latham

Don't think you know Charles Latham? Bet you know Hard On, which Withered Hand covered. And if you know the world weariness of Phil Ochs, the sweet melodic intuition of Paul Simon and Michael Nesmith's downhome country, then you know Charles Latham.

Latham's songs are equal parts funny, wry and desolate. His observational thumbnail sketches will slay you. How about the opening lines to the ironically solipsistic My Perfect Church, "I pray from my toilet seat, make my holy life complete/My god hears me when I speak, can yours say the same"?

Or the pathos of Applications For Employment, "Interview after interview, beg for jobs I don't wanna do"? These songs and more, all bittersweet beauts, are on Legend: The Best Of Charles Latham. The whiskey-soaked misery keeps on coming on new album Fast Loans, a collection centring on financial woes:

Inevitably, Latham is cash poor. There's a UK tour in November and a kickstarter, which you can use to buy Fast Loans. Oh, and UK gig promoters, he's got some dates in his diary to fill.

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