Listening to Neville Skelly serenading your ear drums with gorgeous, lilting songs filled with acoustic goodness, your imagination could be forgiven for conjuring up images of vast mountains and breath-taking views. What you don’t hear is the hard graft that lay behind these gentle tunes.
As a full time dad, Skelly recorded this album in a kitchen when those precious spare moments would allow. Indeed, such a DIY approach has added to the charm of Skelly and his richly engaging voice.
As a vocal reference point think David Gray or John Martyn; it’s singer/songwriter stuff with genuine soul that hits you where it hurts.
The record features former members of The Coral amongst a number of other local musicians, and sounds all the better for it. Whimsical harmonica solos on Love You Gave speak forlornly, and emotive slide guitar across the record, most notable on Before She Was Gone, add a level of depth that shows just how painstakingly Skelly has put together this album.
Carousel is only his second album but he sounds so comfortable in himself that it is something of a surprise that he is a songwriter still realistically finding his feet. Like many folk artists, he may not be the best singer, but has the character and allure to hold your attention, and you will willingly let him take your thoughts away with him.
This is a decent record, and as you overcome the winter blues in the cold mornings, you could do much worse than listen to this record to start your day. Acoustic jazz and folk have never sounded so easy together.