Steve Ashley Another Day (Market Square Music, £9) 5/5
SINGER-SONGWRITER Steve Ashley has been a mainstay of British folk-rock since 1974.
Performing as a solo artist and as a member of bands such as the Albion Band and his own Ragged Robin, his musical career has also represented the best of the folk music tradition in linking his songs to the struggles of working people.
True to form, his latest album Another Day contains a collection of songs inspired by the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party and it’s a great antidote to the narrative spun by the corporate media.
One Strong Voice is a powerful tribute to the memory of Tony Benn, while There Will Be Pain was written in response to the welfare cuts introduced by the coalition government and The Way the Rainbow is Made is a denunciation of the role organised religion has played in stoking wars and bigotry.
While those themes should in themselves be enough to appeal to Morning Star readers, the real standout number has to be The Paper Song.
Each verse refers to readers of all the right-wing newspapers and the lies they spin but Ashley doesn’t let any aficionado of the Guardian, with its hostility to Corbyn, off the hook.
“He thinks it guards the lefties, but it’s never guarded those. It’s guarding the establishment, but it’s wearing rebel clothes,” Ashley sings. And, yes, the Morning Star does get mentioned as the only one that’s true with: “Every one except the Morning Star should have a Public Health Warning: ‘This paper carries poison every day’.”
Definitely an inspiring album for Star readers and it’s one to recommend to any misguided friends who think the Guardian represents an alternative worldview to the Daily Mail or Telegraph.