Kris Drever, John McCusker, Roddy Woomble - Before the Ruin

A subdued but incredibly listenable folk long player

Album Review by Jason Morton | 02 Sep 2008
  • Drever, McCusker, Woomble - Before the Ruin
Album title: Before the Ruin
Artist: Kris Drever, John McCusker, Roddy Woomble
Label: Navigator Records
Release date: 15 Sep

At a time when the term 'folk' is a promiscuous lover, shacking up with rock, pop, jazz, etc., it's surprisingly refreshing to hear a straight-forward, no-modifier-needed folk record. Before the Ruin finds Edinburgh folkies Kris Drever and John McCusker teaming with Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble for ten solid tracks, and the lads come through with a subdued but entirely listenable long player. Woomble's doleful crooning matches the acoustic strum quite well, but it's the contributions of McCusker's fiddle that seal the deal, its morose yet soaring whittle haunts over the songs where it's featured. The remarkable title track does find the trio playing with the formula - enough to add in a few touches of electric guitar - but not at the expense of the otherwise earthy elements, and Stuck in Time is a sweet send off. Featuring collaborations with Radiohead's Phil Selway and members of Teenage Fanclub, this is the work of three talented core musicians delivering a quality take on a time-honoured genre. [Jason Morton]


Kris Drever, John McCusker, Roddy Woomble play:

Tolbooth, Stirling, 30 Sep

Ironworks, Inverness, 2 Oct

Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, 3 Oct

Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, 5 Oct