James Yorkston and the Athletes Moving Up Country

Moving Up Country is a lovely, addictive and soothing debut from Edinburgh's James Yorkston and the Athletes. The title is a little deceptive, as the music evokes misty glens more than dusty roads. Born and raised in the Fife village of Kingsbarns, Yorkston learned early on about organic home-made music. He then followed his heart to the big city and played with garage punk band Huckleberry. While that might have been fun, his hearing suffered so he returned to gentler muses, in the form soft English folkie Anne Briggs and Malagasy guitarist D'Gary. Moving Up Country has a bit of history in itself. Yorkston, like many of his ilk, recorded songs to cassette and submitted them to the legendary John Peel. Unlike many of his ilk, he swept Mr. Peel up and carried on to record a number of EPs. This is the group's first LP and Yorkston puts his early lessons to play with the eclectic grouping of Athletes - Faisal on percussion, classically trained pianist Reuben, folkie Holly on low whistle, bassist Doogie and Wendy on violin. Gently breezing between love lost and found, James Yorkston avoids being angst-ridden; a lyric sheet may belay that assertion, but that would mar the experience. Just lying back in the afterglow is comfort enough. (Domino)