"Blue Skies, Black Heroes" is utterly uplifting, inspiring and refreshing. Before MTV was churning out unplugged versions of rock megastars' music, some of our hard-working, under-rated and criminally overlooked acoustic heroes had been at it for years. Ralph McTell is the finest British exponent of American pre-World War Two country blues and ragtime, and he originally released this landmark album in 1988. He's a supremely talented and hard-working acoustic guitarist, and continues to inspire young guns to take up the acoustic guitar. Listen to this album and you start to understand why. Ralph has an intuitive feel for this kind of music and imbues his performances with good humour and "bounce" as opposed to some exponents of this style of guitar playing who are good technicians but dry performers. Before Eric Clapton did "Unplugged", Ralph McTell gave us "Blues Skies, Black Heroes". For me the highlights are Ralph's own original homage to the legendary Blind Blake, and the beautifully delivered instrumental "Leah's Favourite". A classic album.