Reg Meuross’s latest album, All this Longing, looks set to capture the hearts of listeners again after the release of Dragonfly in 2008 brought him to wider public attention. Again, Reg brings to life the commonplace and the extraordinary in his poignant tales whose level of detail I’m always amazed by. The image of a typewritter on the album is a perfect symbol of his masterful storytelling.
Reg Meuross’s lyrics have an earthbound reality to them with no over-romantic flights of fancy. What makes them so special is their attention to detail and sincerity, a quality also present in his voice. He breathes new life into past events, some of which bring feelings of fortitude and solace whilst others are far darker and sad. There is both spontaneity and twists which fascinate and I would wager that many of his songs will be sung far into the future.
on Angelina’s Coming Home, a story of a wayward girl returning home, he captures more than the life of the central character. An insight into the station ticketmasters dreams reveal lonely places that he longs to visit. Observations are captured in few words but he chooses them carefully, as a poet does, nothing is wasted in his lyrics: “…sun burns off the early morning rain, mothers wave to damp eyed children leaving and Angelina waiting for her train.”
Reg tells of the final days of a great modern folk-hero on Victor Jara. Victor was a Chilean Teacher, singer and activist and was amongst the many that were taken to the Chile Stadium in the early 1970’s where they were tortured and executed. The public memory is very short lived and songs such as these provide testimony to great people, just as And Jesus Wept did on his last album for Private Harry Farr who became the first 1st World War Soldier executed for ‘desertion’ to receive a pardon in 2006.
On The Bitter Wind Reg goes further back in history to the little village of Peter Tavy on Dartmoor to tell the tale of William Williams love for Emma Doidge. He conjures up the fire and passion of William’s love at first sight for Emma who had no interest in him. His love later turned to obsession as Emma fell for another leading to a dark and cruel tragedy and the eventual execution of William Williams in 1893.
Whether he is telling the tales of human sacrifice or crimes of passion he does so with sincerity and a warmth which reflects musically throughout. On All This Longing he is joined by a great collection of musicians: Roy Dodds (co-producer and percussion), Simon Edwards (Bass Guitar and Double Bass), Bethany Porter (Cello), Jackie Oates (Viola), Paul Sartin (Oboe, Violin), Andy Cutting (accordion) and Vashti Anna (Backing Vocals).
Reg has, yet again proven his fine artistry with another great album!
Buy the CD: All This Longing