July 19, 2023

Spottiswoode: I Have So Many Friends

Spottiswoode: I Have So Many Friends

As a songwriter, Jonathan Spottiswoode should have gotten the same recognition that is bestowed on Rufus Wainwright, Ray Davies, Randy Newman, and ... wait for it ... Leonard Cohen, many, many years ago. Until that day finally arrives, he will have to make do with being New York and London's best kept secret. As a modern day troubadour and focal point of Anglo-American septet Spottiswoode & His Enemies, he has been a critic's darling for twenty odd years, but the world at large fails to take notice.

His new unplugged solo album I Have So Many Friends can serve as a crash course for those who want to catch up, featuring reinvented songs for his back catalogue plus a healthy dose of brand new material. Recorded at Studio 42 in Hildesheim, Germany with Jonny Gee (double bass, vocals), Matti Müller (guitar, vocals) and Angi Stricker (vocals, percussion) he breezes through the tracks: from an upbeat version of Mummy's Got Strange Friends to issuing a stern warning about a dangerous Fox News television host (Don't Fall In Love With Laura Ingraham), and donning the perspective of a woman fleeing from the horrors of the Napoleonic Wars.

He never had a hit, but with Beautiful Monday (from Wild Goosechase Expedition) he came close when director Roger Spottiswoode (no relation) used it in his A Street Cat Named Bob movie. The new version stays close to the original arrangement, with a few vocal flourishes thrown in. That's What I Like is even more lascivious than the original, which was released as the title track of an album in 2008.

I Have So Many Friends is both a summation and a continuation of his work as a superb lyricist. By going for a more laid back mood, the words come to the fore even more, now that they are wrapped in jazz, flamengo and folk. It is the gateway drug to his discography and open minded listeners are in for a hell of a trip.

I Have So Many Friends is a self-released album. Buy it from his website. Release date: August 1.

  1. I Have So Many Friends
  2. Beautiful Monday
  3. All The World Is Waiting
  4. Building A Road
  5. Hanging On The Drop Edge Of Yonder
  6. Bulletproof
  7. Mummy's Got Strange Friends
  8. The Cold Days Of December
  9. It Is Time
  10. Don't Fall In Love With Laura Ingraham
  11. In The Pouring Rain
  12. Road To Beijing
  13. One Day, My Love
  14. That's What I Like
  15. Road Song

Live dates:
  • 08/09 Totnes, Devon @ Totnes Cinema (w/ Phil Hogg)
  • 08/10 Ashburton @ Ashburton Arts Centre
  • 08/12 Kennington, London @ Toulouse Lautrec (billed as The Deadly Lampshades)
  • 08/19 Donnington Farm @ Donnfest (free)
  • 08/21 Newcastle @ The Bridge Folk Club
  • 08/23 London @ The Green Note (I Have So Many Friends release show)
  • 08/27 Bedfordshire @ Twinwood Festival (3 separate sets on 3 separate stages)

» spottiswoode.com

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