The Scots guitarist, song interpreter, and sometimes songwriter has succeeded in creating a fine album that is full of biting political insight, but which doesn't lack for romance, either. He is an active proponent for liberation in Scotland and around the world. Songs include Michael Martin Murphey's "Geronimo's Cadillac," Pete Seeger's anti-war tale "Waste Deep in the Big Muddy," and his own socialist manifesto, "No Cause for Alarm." The political high point is probably Brian McNeill's "No Gods and Precious Few Heroes," a powerful work about the real Scotland, delivered with just his voice and guitar.
His guitar playing is not to be overlooked. On Richard Thompson's "52 Vincent Black Lightning" he takes the twisted love song and adds his own unique guitar sound to it, making the piece very much his own. This is one of the more acoustic records Gaughan has made this decade, and a welcome addition to the collection. --Louis Gibson
Reviewshe smacks you round the ears with a luminously sensitive and impassioned treatment of Ruby Tuesday (yes, that Ruby Tuesday), with just acoustic guitar, Mary MacMaster on clarsach and his own inimitable accent. Worth buying the album for this track alone, it knocks both the Rolling Stones and Melanie into a cocked hat, if you ask me...Pete Seeger's ever-relevant Waist Deep in the Big Muddy is simply and angrily sung against Gaughan's idiosyncratic guitar rhythms, while No Cause for Alarm comes with rock back line, wailing Hammond organ and five-piece backing vocals. Neither really prepare you for a stunning revisit to Hamish Henderson's 51st (Highland) Division's Farewell to Sicily. A self-confessed obsession, this version lasts for nearly twelve minutes, and sounds like it's over in a flash...The album has been recorded with the minimum of intervention, and has a liveliness one hears all too rarely. The anger and passion come through unadulterated - so does the tenderness. Play it loud, and play it often - sheer genius doesn't just come in pint glasses. - Bob Walton, Folk Roots