Scottish singer Matt McGinn was an important contributor to the British Isles folk revival during the '60s and '70s, and his early death in 1977 left him less-known than one would hope. A singer, socialist, songwriter, moralist, and humorist, McGinn was a folkie who never learned to play a folk instrument. His traditionally based songs cover political subjects ("Lots of Little Soldiers"), humorous subjects ("The Dundee Ghost"), or best of all, humorous political songs ("The Pill"). This latter song is one of the highlights of the album, a concoction that could only have been dreamed up by someone raised Catholic. He slyly suggests that 22 children may be one or two too many. "I'm Looking for a Job" carries the wonderful refrain, "I'm looking for a job with a sky-high pay, a four-day week, and a two-hour day." Who isn't? "The Rolling Hills of the Border" has a romantic, melancholy lyric that pays tribute to his native land, and this mood is sustained on "I Have Seen the Highlands." The acoustic arrangements are simple throughout, allowing McGinn's voice and lyrics to be front and center. Of course everyone -- meaning every non-Scot -- may not be able to decipher all of the accented words, but it doesn't really matter. Everything sounds lovely. The Best of Matt McGinn is a fine collection of songs from throughout his career. The songs will take many folk lovers back to the heady days of the '60s when song lyrics were filled with righteousness and straightforward innocence. This is an enjoyable anthology.
The Best of Matt McGinn Review
by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.