Label: Domino Release date: 10/08/09 Website: http://www.jamesyorkston.co.uk/ Buy: Amazon Right, who is sick of hearing names like 'nu-folk'? And constantly hearing these 'nu-folk' songs repeated through and through on TV, in the ad-man's attempt to make the viewer a bit more calm and willing to accept the mobile phone or broadband service that's been pitched to them? It seems that in order to grasp a breath of fresh air in the modern world's approach to folk you've got to reach back to its roots and embrace the traditional sounds. This is what James Yorkston has done with his new album, simply entitled, Folk Songs. This album does exactly what folk was always meant to do; it ultimately tells good stories, but also provides some wonderful arrangements that make the listener feel in touch with the origins of this genre. This only has to be proven by the cleverly clumsy and cheerful strings in the opening track, 'Hills Of Greenmoor'. Even better is how the sounds span from origins all over Britain, from the pan flutes of Ireland to the soft guitar, akin to the Midlands where Nick Drake dwelled. The compilation of the songs constantly develops and shifts to suit all styles. One may be in the middle of a hoedown for 'Mar Connaught & James O'Donnell', only to drift into a mellow stupor for the down tempo 'Thorneymoor Woods', which with it's stormy weather-reflective percussion, tells a slightly unsettling folk tale about poachers. A name for an album could never be more true for an album. Folk Songs are what you hear in desolate country taverns, under trees by a canal or from a troubadour singing for his supper. They're not what should be turning your brain to mush when someone wants to lend you a mortgage. James Yorkston & The Big Eyes Family Players bring in this beautiful traditional element and yet you can imagine even the bordering Galician instrumental, 'Pandeirada De Entrimo', getting by in the modern world. Which song wouldn't? Traditional folk is after all, timeless. Rating: 9/10