What we have here is the fourth in a series of compilations from Dave Edwards, covering the years 2018-2022 (the others are for earlier years) and includes previously unreleased recordings, download-only bonus tracks, and excerpts from 12 albums. Yes, twelve. Dave is a musician who has a huge range of influences and styles, and the music keeps pouring out of him. However, I get the impression (rightly or wrongly) that each album is in a similar style, and he uses multiple personas to keep each musical strand separate. That is fine when one is playing one of those, but when they are all mixed up in a compilation which contains 28 songs and a running time of nearly 90 minutes it is somewhat more eclectic.
I was trying to think which label this album belongs on, and the closest I could come to was Alternative Tentacles as there is something about this underground independent mix which I can see appealing to Biafra. We go from bossa nova to folk to RIO to indie to, what is interesting listening if nothing else, a dog howling along to a banjo (Oscar’s Blues), and I am sure there are many who can understand the pain the poor dog is going through. We have songs taken from Poems & Lyrics (in the Scotch dialect) (1856), where Dave paid tribute to his ancestor John Collie who write a book of poems more than 150 years ago and he and other family members took some of those and put them to music, ensuring his words are being uttered again, all those years after they were first committed.
Dave’s website is interesting, and he provides a great deal of information to where songs have come from, where he was when they were recorded, as well as where the inspiration comes from. His Bandcamp page is also informative, with plenty of links and information so that even the uninitiated such as myself can easily find a way into his vast catalogue. Given the difference in styles I am not sure if this is a great introduction to his music, but I would instead use this as a guide and make notes of what songs are the most enjoyable and then seek out the albums on which they originally appeared. It is unusual to find someone playing so confidently in such diverse areas and anyone into independent music will certainly find something on here to enjoy.