"Lucky for Some"
Dick Gaughan lists Karl Marx, Vladimir Illych Lenin and Robert Burns among his major influences. His powerfully delivered songs have always had a heavy injection of socialist politics and his latest album is no exception. Released earlier this month 'Lucky for Some' (perhaps named after our new IR laws?) is another great installment from the Glaswegian born folk singer. Dick's previous albums have generally featured a combination of his own songs and the work of others like Brian McNeill, Woody Guthrie, Ed Pickford, Pete Seeger and Leon Rosselson to name a few. This time round Dick has relied on his own pen for the majority of the tracks making it a truly excellent solo effort.
This album is packed with good songs. If I was asked to pick a favourite track it would probably be "Whatever Happened" which sends a message to those who once had strong convictions about social change but have instead accepted the greedy capitalist model. 'The Devil and Pastor Jack' is classic Gaughan. It tells the story of reactionary Scottish Pastor Jack Glass and is another personal favourite. In the sleeve notes Dick recalls how Pastor Jack once called for the hanging of Nelson Mandela at an anti-apartheid rally and how the Reverend Ian Paisley once referred to Jack as 'a bit of an extremist!' Jack Glass eventually died of cancer claiming that it was no ordinary cancer but the work of Lucifer himself!! The mind boggles. I also particularly like the title track, a trenchent commentary on the dirty world inhabited by record company executives.
I recently saw Dick perform some of the tracks from the album for the CFMEU sponsored Union (or troublemakers) Concert at the National Folk Festival in Canberra and the loud response from the audience said it all. Dick has just finished his current Australian tour but I hope it's not too long before he is back here causing more trouble.
See the link on the right hand side of this blog for access to Dick's online forum and website where his music is also available.