Supergroups, under that terms various severity of meaning, occur for myriad reasons, but chiefly out of a mutual respect and sense of fun. Or because respective creative wells have run dry and they still have commercial currency together. And while that principle reason must apply to this Scot trio (a more comfortably entwined modern folk record you surely wont hear all year), it feels like a deep, underlying necessity overrules any other reasoning. This had to be made, or so it feels--it exists both because and independently of three perfectly successful, if low key, careers; Kris Drever is a folk singer-songwriter, John McCusker a lauded fiddle supremo and Roddy Woomble may be the best known of the three as sometime frontman of Idlewild and blossoming solo artist. Before the Ruin
is very much its own entity, a debut album in its own right. From the hyper traditional fluttering on an evening breeze fiddle-n-accordion folk of "The Poorest Company" to the slow-budding arm-waving shoot of hope in the poetic "Silver & Gold" and pattering, atmospheric twinkles of "Moments Last Forever", there is an unruffled, hand-woven synchronicity to it all. It also lies on a rich bed of secondary instrumentation provided by members of Teenage Fanclub, Radiohead drummer Phil Selway and others, enhancing the feeling of collaboration. That it is not performed for any clear financial dividend, and in spite of its completeness was recorded largely over just seven afternoons, makes it all the more precious. --James Berry
A stunning contemporary song collection written and performed by three friends, that looks set to be one of the most important new albums for Autumn (and with tours in September / October and February 2009 already booked the trio will be in the public eye long into the new year, when a second single will be released to re-promote the album). Testament to the quality of these new songs and the stature of the players, the album features performances from more of their successful musical friends: Norman Blake and Francis MacDonald of Teenage Fanclub, Philip Selway of Radiohead, Heidi Talbot, Donald Shaw of Capercaille, Andy Cutting (BBC folk musician of the year) and Michael McGoldrick.
As lead singer and main writer in Idlewild and solo, Roddy Woomble has already sold over 200,000 records in the UK alone. His previous John McCusker produced "My Secret Is My Silence" (Pure) won him a entirely new following within the new folk movement and this new 10 song collection leads on from that point, seeing him taking lead vocal on nine of the 10 songs backed by two of the finest young musicians this country has to offer in Drever and McCusker. Kris Drever (also of the award winning LAU) sings "The Poorest Company" a song originally aired in demo version (then called Steal What We Can) on "This Is Proper Folk", which has sold in vast quantities (over 35,000 at time of writing) making both folk and rock pop markets well aware of the musical importance of this trio. John McCusker has just returned from an eight month sell out world tour with Mark Knopfler and fresh from his recent appearance on Paul Weller's number one album "22 Dreams".