Robin Williamson ‘Trusting in the Rising’ (ECM) 3/5

robin-williamsonVeteran Scottish folk singer and former member of the Incredible String Band returns with an esoteric release that is inspired in large part by the poetry of Blake, Dylan Thomas and Walt Whitman. Produced by Steve Lake, what immediately attracts the listener’s attention is the unusual array of instrumentation for a folk album and this includes vibraphone, viola and percussion. This is certainly folk music, but with a difference. Now an octogenarian, there is something of a zen-llike quality to some of the songs as illustrated on the intro to ‘Just West of Monmouth’ which features a spoken delivery. It has to be stressed that the voice is not quite what is once was and the lyrics are, in parts, a tad clichéd. That said, there is still lyrical beauty to be found on songs such as ‘Roads’ and expansive instrumentation when let loose on numbers such as ‘Night comes quick in L.A.’. Maybe not the first port of entry for newcomers to Robin Williamson’s work, but a piece of work that gains in interest with repeated listens.

Tim Stenhouse