Though cult folk musician Al Tuck has been at this a long time, he's earned few accolades along the way. Yet the Halifax singer/songwriter's fifth album is devoid of weariness, self-pity or bitterness. Instead, this is an epic-length album that shifts easily between gospel, blues and Dylan-inspired folk and features 13 of his most vital tunes to date, each vividly worded and subtly arranged.
There's a quiet quality to the nearly drum-free album, as if babies slept in the room where it was recorded. But Tuck's voice - thin, rough-hewn, distinct - reaches out intimately, and his songwriting never drops beneath top-shelf. The 10-and-a-half-minute title track, which tells the story of Tuck's search for his father-in-law's grave, has a fantastic British folk-rock feel, and its lyrics never tire, even after a dozen verses.
Top track: Food For The Moon