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Henry Lowther Band: Child Song

Lowther’s sounds of the 70s, revisited.

An appearance at the Woodstock festival as trumpeter in the Keef Hartley Band helped raise, Henry Lowther’s stock high high enough for Deram to take a punt on a solo outing. Released in 1970 Child Song was well received by critics but sold poorly, with artist and label quickly parting company. It’s subsequent obscurity has fuelled vinyl collectors’ ardour, and there’s still plenty to get excited about, not least Lowther’s open-mindedness.

Seamlessly absorbing elements of rock’s more demonstrative beats, smart use of lightly oiled funky 34 grooves, bursts of rattling tempos, spacious blows and occasional abstract forays show Lowther’s desire to avoid painting himself into a stylistic corner.

The influence of Miles Davis’ In A Silent Way is evident in some hushed, brooding moods, yet Lowther’s melodic instincts ensure his nimble, occasionally bluesy choruses are joyously uninhibited, delivered with lean, masterful concision.

Effortlessly held together by drummer Mike Travis (later with Gilgamesh), and the Mike McNaught’s dreamy Hohner pianet, Child Song evokes an endless, optimistic feel-good summer, and remains an absolute gem.