Review of Tom McConville CD “Back to Scotswood”

tm3“Back to Scotswood”

Tom McConville


Once again this man has pulled not just a rabbit but also a fully jugged hare out of the hat. This CD ought to be called ‘The Elixir of Tom McConville’ it is brilliant. I’d like to write a host of superlatives but I’d rather leave it at just brilliant and tell you to stop reading this review, go out buy the C.D. sit down, put it on close your eyes and just play it.

I can honestly say in all my 60 plus years of listening to music; this is the first album I have heard where all the tracks are my favourite.

Starting with The Knife Grinder running through to The Ross Memorial Hospital, 12 offerings of beauty.

Tom’s voice, unlike most of us, is improving with his age. His fiddle playing is once again second to none. Add to that the skills and musicianship of Chris Newman, Leonard Brown, Andy Watt and Malcolm Busby and you have a superlative sound. Even after playing for the first 10 times I was still hearing different nuances and little surprises that I hadn’t heard the first nine times. I suppose after one hundred plays I might get it all.

Tom has never stood still in his musical repertoire. I thought a few years ago that he had reached his peak (BBC Folk Musician of The Year – 2012) and would sit back and rest on his laurels a little, but no, he still leaves me gob-smacked at how he turns out music that just gets better every time I hear his latest offering.

His constantly expanding choice of styles and presentation reflect a soul who will never give up. I can’t wait for the next C.D. Well done canny lad, please don’t stop.


Jeff Blythin

Rhyl Folk Club – July 2014.


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