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Reviewed by Aleisha Ward

Ross Mullins: The Poet And The Fisherman

Reviewed by Aleisha Ward

Ross Mullins: The Poet And The Fisherman

This latest album from Devonport musician Ross Mullins and his band The Snaps, has somehow been 17 years in the making, and marks a return to original compositions for Mullins. For long time fans it’s worth noting that this version of The Snaps is a six-piece featuring Jim Langabeer on alto sax, Markus Fritsch on tenor, guitarist Nigel Gavin, Peter Koopman on bass and backing vocals, Jason Orme on drums and percussion, special guest Caitlin Smith on vocals and Mullins on piano and vocals. Recorded by Olly Harmer at The Lab during in 2014 and ’15 ‘The Poet and the Fisherman’ continues Mullins’ explorations of localised and semi-autobiographical songwriting that flits between jazzy-bluesy almost rock, to folk balladry. There’s even a dash of country here and there (in particular the guitar and drum lines on Family Bible). As expected the group has great interplay, moving with ease between support, sectional and solo work. From groovy opening track The Age Of No Excuses to the meditative title track this album takes listeners on a journey through the NZ of their imagination. The closer is a fun instrumental jam titled Little Ray Of Sunshine (For Trelise) – really the whole album is a ray of sunshine – to be enjoyed on the deck with a cold beverage.