Rainbow Man by Eddy Morton – An album review by Pete Millington

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Rainbow Man is a new album of evocative and beautifully performed folk rock songs from Stourbridge based singer Eddy Morton.

Rainbow Man is Eddy’s fourth solo album though his discography dates back to 1991 in the days when he appeared at The Hacienda with The Adventure Babies. He was a founder member of The New Bushbury Mountain Daredevils with whom he recorded 3 albums and later The Bushburys with whom he recorded 5 albums. He toured all over the UK and Europe with The Bushburys and the band appeared at every major Folk/Roots Festival in the UK and Europe including Cambridge, Cropredy, Skagen, Guildford, Dranouter, The Badentreffen (Nuremburg) and many more.

As a solo performer, Eddy Morton has worked all over the UK, Ireland and the USA supporting many top acts including, The Saw Doctors, Manfred Mann, Ralph Mctell and Lindisfarne. In 1992 he joined Factory Records band, the Adventure Babies working with Steve Lillywhite of U2 fame.

Based in Stourbridge, the Black County town famed for its glass making heritage, Eddy Morton has for the past fourteen years run live music venue Katie Fitzgeralds, New Mountain music and more recently KMS events organising countless concerts and is now co director of The Stourbridge Folk Festival in its second year.

Rainbow Man is an album of 11 melodic and well-crafted folk rock songs, many driven by strong ethical themes, some personal but all conveying rich and engaging stories that make for a great listening experience.

The front cover has striking artwork featuring the subject of the album’s title and opening track, the vibrantly coloured Rainbow Man himself. The album is dedicated to the memory of an old friend of Morton’s and one can’t help feeling a shared sense of loss for a special person conveyed both in the image and the song. The music on the album is without doubt deserving of the beautifully painted cover as Morton takes us seamlessly from one delightful song to the next – each uniquely lovely.

Guitarist, piano and harmonica player Morton is backed by a cluster of highly accomplished musicians on the album including fiddle player Andy Jones, uillean piper Aidan O’Brien, Trevor Spinks on dobro, Eliza Marshall (Bansoori, bass flute), Lee Southall (harmonica) and special guest Sunjay (guitar).

There are clearly many musical influences on this album from the Irish and North American folk traditions in particular but also something distinctively English and I’d go so far as saying Black Country – with my 16 year old son Joe playing soccer for the Glass Boys this forthcoming season I must give The Battle For Stourbridge a special mention, whilst the song is actually about the battle of local canal enthusiasts to keep the Stourbridge canal open in 1962 and not about brawny youths kicking muddy footballs around Black Country football pitches, even so, it has already become an anthem in our household.

But from the sardonic and tripping Emily to the driving Celtic fury of Ghostland every track on this album is actually stunning and it has to be heard and enjoyed in its wide-ranging entirety. So please take this tip and treat yourself to a very special album of decent new songs from a stalwart of fine folk-rock music.
Find the man and his music here: www.newmountainmusic.com