Iain Matthews Excerpts From Swine Lake

Iain Matthews' bio reads like a Harlequin romance of missed opportunity, deals gone sour, poor timing and bum luck, yet this folk-rock icon keeps bounding back based on the sheer calibre of his voice, his songwriting and exceptional choice of cover material. You may recall Matthews' halcyon days as a founder of (pre-Denny) Fairport Convention, deserting after the success of their first album, disagreeing with their shift to a more traditional folk-rock sound. Matthews Southern Comfort was a more country-rock leaning known for their cover of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock,” disbanding prior to pay day. The bug bit again during a Fairport reunion concert and a trail of ever-sweetening, Austin-based releases has kept him in the game since (notably, the band Plainsong, with Clive Gregson and Julian Dawson). Swine Lake is true-to-form. His winsome tenor sounds as fresh as ever, throughout the entirety of the largely self-penned Swine Lake. The material is largely folk-rock lite, registering somewhere between a “subdued” Peter Case and a “perky” James Taylor, and underlined with a hint of country. His four-piece band plays an impeccable, “feel-good” accompaniment to his well-seasoned lead. This material is not for everybody, but Swine Lake represents a sturdy compliment to anyone's singer-songwriter collection. Tracks like "Something Mighty" and "Horse Left In The Rain" sound like mellow classics you've heard before but can't quite place. Now you can. This is a record that doesn't deserve to fall through the cracks. (Tangible)