Somewhere Down The Road - Ralph McTell

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Somewhere Down The Road - Ralph McTell

1 CD(s) - Folk - Label: Leola - Distributor: Proper - Released: 18/10/2010 - 5060079130317

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Review of "Somewhere Down The Road - Ralph McTell"

published 29/08/2015 | 2mennycds
Member since : 28/08/2015
Reviews : 265
Members who trust : 71
About me :
Bit worried about my wife's driving. She told me the other day that she nearly ran over a squirrell on her way to work - hey, this is an animal that LIVES IN A TREE!!
Pro Moving lyrics, wide scope of subject of songs
Cons None
very helpful
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Value for Money

"However far you have to travel to get it - get it!"

Autographed cover and notes

Autographed cover and notes


Please note: Perhaps understandably, Ciao no longer pay anything at all for music reviews. Any that I post are therefore purely for my own enjoyment – and hopefully some readers’ benefit.

This is a re-vamp of my second ever Ciao review. I didn’t really do justice to the artist, my all-time musical hero. Also I will probably expand it slightly to post in my blog.

Any rates won’t benefit my pocket, but would notch up my Ciao points!


Ralph McTell – he’s the guy who wrote “Streets Of London”, isn’t he? Not many musical performers have been in the business for 50 years and not only reached the top of their game but remained there. Ralph is one of them. His good friend, the comedian Billy Connolly has described him as a “national treasure.”

I have been a keen Ralph fan for most of my adult life (I’m in my late fifties now) and took up guitar playing after listening to some of his vinyl albums (anyone remember those nice-sized, tactile sleeves with print that was easy on the eye and illustrations big enough to really enjoy?!)

If you only ever associate Ralph McTell with “Streets of London” please stop! He is a master songwriter (more of this to follow) as well as a brilliant guitar player (he was “given” his stage surname by fellow musician Wizz Jones as an allusion to Ralph’s blues/ragtime playing influence, the recordings of Blind Willie McTell).

I especially love this relatively recent album of Ralph’s because, whilst I like all his CDs, this one for me captures the feel of his earlier ones from the 1970s. The lyrics are powerful and evocative, the subject matter is broad, and the music is great. Not only for its intrinsic quality is my copy special; as you will see from the (indifferent quality) photo, Ralph autographed it for me at one of his gigs.

The album

I have an almost pathological dislike for card packaging, but I can make the occasional exception. Both the cover and the accompanying booklet (24 pages of it!) are printed on a mid-brown background with black font that is easy to read, and one or two splashes of colour on otherwise monotone illustrations.

The lyrics to each song are printed in full, and most are illustrated by delightful monochrome artwork.

It consists of 14 songs and plays for 64 minutes.

The songs

I’ll comment on some of the separate tracks, but an overview may be helpful, especially for those unfamiliar with Ralph’s music.

Ralph McTell has crafted some superlative songs over the years. He has a truly poetic (yet non-pretentious) way with words, and many of his lyrics would stand on their own merits without music. He is also musically adept, marrying his songs to fine melodies and accompaniment. Many are written in the first person; a high proportion of these are indeed are autobiographical, but by no means all are. Nevertheless, this adds intensity and drama to the words.

On this album we have, for example, a personal tribute to, and evocation of, the city of London, and two separate tributes to two of Ralph’s blues heroes.

There are love songs, including one that is gorgeously wistful and another that captures Cajun music, set as it is at a Cajun dance, with some delightful changes of mood and tempo There’s also a dramatic song about a voyage as a crew member on a sailing ship.,

Some of the tracks

>>> The London Apprentice > Reverend Thunder (Blind Faith); The Ghost Of Robert Johnson > Walk Into The Morning > Around The Wild Cape Horn > The Girl On The Jersey Ferry

Community evaluation

This review was read 586 times and was rated at
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Comments on this review

  • IzzyS published 23/04/2017
    Good review.
  • afy9mab published 20/04/2017
    Nicely done.
  • kirkytracy published 17/04/2017
    great review
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Product Information : Somewhere Down The Road - Ralph McTell

Manufacturer's product description

1 CD(s) - Folk - Label: Leola - Distributor: Proper - Released: 18/10/2010 - 5060079130317

Product Details

EAN: 5060079130317


Listed on Ciao since: 03/09/2010