The Crook Of My Arm album cover
The Crook Of My Arm

Alasdair Roberts

2001
Secretly Canadian

The music Alasdair Roberts made in his youth, in his band Appendix Out, was curiously positioned between the lo-fi, indie rock community he was part of – both in his hometown of Glasgow, and internationally, through his connections with Will Oldham and Jason Molina – and his family’s historical involvement with traditional song (Roberts’s father was a folk guitarist and promoter). The Crook of My Arm was his first break with his immediate past, consisting of a collection of folk songs performed alone, just voice and guitar, and recorded direct to mini-disc. Even at this early stage, Roberts is a preternatural interpreter of these ageless songs, able both to sustain intensity of performance through an epic like “As I Came By Huntly Town,” and to grasp the miniaturised intimacies of a melody like “Ploughboy Lads.”

Jon Dale

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