I have missed out on Richard’s last few albums, which were both collaborations but now he is back with another ‘solo’ work. Richard of course provides most of the music (guitars, vocals, keyboards, bass, percussion, bouzouki, Appalachian dulcimer, accordion, melodica) and as with his other three solo releases he has been joined by Amy Fry (vocals, clarinet and saxophone) and this time we also have Chantelle Smith (vocals, harp, bodhran) while Sienna Wileman provides Avebury sound recordings. Wileman describes the album as a Prog / folk horror concept album, rooted in his home county of Wiltshire charting the encounter of a comet with Earth resulting in the undead rising and converging on The Ridgeway (an 87-mile chalk hill walk that starts at World Heritage stone circle site Avebury), all bookended by the last and first books of English magic.

I have been a fan of Richard’s work for the best part of 30 years, and this release fits in well with his most recent canon where he moves between singer-songwriter styles and his film for the ears approach. Whatever he is doing the music is wonderfully layered with multiple threads which interweave to create a world for the listener to fall into. That he is not more widely appreciated and recognised has long been a mystery for me, and I can only put it down to the fact that it would take many musicians to be able to recreate this music in the live environment so when he does perform it is generally in a stripped-down format. I always relish the opportunity to hear his albums and feel enriched for having done so, and with more than 20 albums now available under various guises Richard continues to produce music which is wonderfully enthralling and dramatic. 8/10 Kev Rowland