With the Purgatory Players sadly on hiatus, Robert George Saull has used the time wisely, to release his first solo EP. Richard Furlong is a delicate blend of English traditional music and American alternative folkRobert George Saull continues the oral tradition of bards throughout the ages, not only performing songs of yore, but channelling them into his own idiosyncratic style of storytelling.
The tone of the record is set by the opening track, ‘Dutch Elm’. His dulcet tones meld together with acoustic guitar to carry you away on the wind to somewhere isolated and tranquil; perhaps to a cabin on the edge of a woods or maybe to an isolated farm house by a lake. As with all the tracks on the EP, it has a timeless quality. ‘One Sugar-Day’ maintains the feeling of displacement, but with the addition of saxophone, takes you somewhere else. Very seldom does a song bring a tear to my eye, but ‘Kathy’ always seems to have that effect on me. It is a beautiful and tender piece of songwriting, full of brooding emotional intensity, simplistic, yet as fragile as a snowflake.
Robert George Saull is joined by Oxo Foxo on ‘A Jug of This’, their voices perfectly intertwine to breathe a freshness and immediacy into a traditional drinking song. The penultimate song, ‘The Weight of Dust’, is a sparse and tender ballad, gently dripping with sincerity and loss. The final act is a delicate and heartbreaking song, ‘The Wedding Prayer’, the last mournful verses ebbing away and leaving a profound sense of loss.
A tender work, aching with sorrow, heartache and beauty, you could be forgiven for thinking that Robert George Saull produces music from another time, when in fact it is eternal.