Tom Conway is a Cambridge based artist with an ear for a decent tune. He is also a contradiction. He’s country but blues and folk, downbeat balladeer, upbeat troubadour, funny but serious, very English in terms of his folk tradition sound, yet is actually Scottish.
There’s some delightful moments on Now It's Your Turn from the opening 10,000 Leagues Out of Mine to the irritatingly catchy Hanging Around Waiting. Lyrically he’s sharp and at his best in my favourites Modest Proposal as he sings your ‘body is a temple, think it’s time for me to kneel’. On The Paper You Brought You Home he has a song that James Blunt, David Gray or James Morrison could only dream of writing and Richard Thompson would be happy to call his own.
There seems to be no mainstream outlet for this type of artist anymore. In the 70s and 80s there was someone on the TV just about everyday sounding like this, with a guitar and a song to sing, guys like Hank Wangford and Loudon Wainwright were never off the box. In a time when record companies invest millions in fake troubadours the likes of Tom Conway, the real deal have to invest in themselves. Makes you wonder why a talented song writer and player doesn’t have the profile he deserves but then again why would anyone with integrity want to sit at the same table as Simon Cowell?
There’s no denying his playing ability and song writing skill and Conway can dip his toe into folk, country, rock and the odd good old fashioned pop song and does so with a dry humour and observational skill.
This is a charming album and I definitely got it. You should too.
Review by Charlie Brown