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- Songs for the Living and Songs for the Dead by Casey Edward Denman
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Mr. Denman wins SOTW simply because there's nothing that touched us as much as his fine EP for Autumn Ferment. It's really straight ahead singer-songwriter stuff in the contemporary folk vein but his clear, plain yet heartfelt voice cut through any bullshit that may be lingering around an office full of quite individualistic spods & geeks. Musically, there's a strong similarity to classic writers such as Jose Gonzalez, Bert Jansch & John Martyn but his songs display a distinctive verve & freshness that lifts them beyond the ordinary & unremarkable. The playing is warm, fluid & strong but I keep going back to his voice; a pure captivating thing that very occasionally reminds me of various folk I cannot put my finger on. Every song here manages to be rousing, sad, celebratory & soulful, sometimes all at the same time, and because he's on a tiny indie (one which, Phil & I agree, is utterly on-the-ball with this style of music) nothing here is over-produced. A very homely & human sounding recording that I will continually dig out & cherish. Nice one Casey!
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