Voice of the Seven Woods


2007 release. For those who wanted to hear the heart-wrenching ramblings of another finger-picking twat in a John Martyn T-shirt while basking in the sun at another low maintenance/highly accessible "chill out" festival or lightweight "folk" event -- you might as well move along -- there's nothing to see here. Though, there is a reason why a Voice Of The Seven Woods gig stands out like a sore thumb, and you can guarantee he'll be asked back next time. An unnamed elderly guitar repairman at a reputable music shop in South Lancashire, UK is usually a mild-mannered character, but thanks to Rick Tomlinson, this nimble-fingered technician is slowly coming to his wit's end. The fact that this reluctant leading light of the fickle "nu-folk" movement has literally smashed his way out of a tight pigeonhole using his trusty wooden axe as a battering ram is evident by the blood-stained frets. But this is only part of the old man's concern. It's actually Rick's latest requests to make this handcrafted German guitar sound like a mutant instrument from the Middle East that are really eating him alive. Rick actually wants his strings to rattle and buzz. Legendary Anatolian protest singer Selda has already donated a Turkish electric saz to Rick's un-blinkered cause. And at recent gigs, when his guitar has been in surgery, his replacement sitar and oud have become trusty substitutes. Rick's collection of Kraut rock, South American psych and Turkish acid rock LPs has also clearly played a large part in his inspired current output. He has also played live with TWO members of seminal Krautrockers Can, built up a hefty daytime bar tab in Wales with the legendary Meic Stevens and has backed lost West Coast folk/pop luminaries Wendy And Bonnie. Add this to 12 months of shared stage space playing culturally disparate music with the likes of Acid Mothers Temple, Dead Meadow, Espers, Chris Corsano and Thurston Moore, and it's evident that Mr. Tomlinson's puerile approach to traditional musicianship is actually re-constructing musical bridges as opposed to destroying them. Perhaps it's Voice Of The Seven Woods who is the real musical repair man in this equation.