Jonathan likes to let his music speak for him, so much so that the few words on his album pack are almost indecipherable. There is no website to sing his praises: the music is his only statement. It’s not his first record, however, but he gave up the mainstream music business long ago. Carved in Bone took almost fifteen years to come to fruition and then only after much persuasion by the friends who accompany him on the record.
This feels like a very intense, personal album. The opening track, `Canticle’, is very catchy with Chris While’s backing vocals soaring over Jonathan’s deep rich voice. They then duet on `Bonny Light Horseman/My Grandfather the Boy’ before things get more complicated. `The Heron, the Stickleback and the Shrew’ is an ecological song of great power and `Strange Meetings’ is strange but with a great hook.
Joe Broughton produced the album and is a key component, forming a string quartet with Paloma Trigas, Helen Lancaster and Emma Capp. The other distinctive sounds are Kevin Dempsey’s guitar and Tom Chapman’s cahon, but Jonathan’s words and voice carry the day. Carved in Bone is a unique record.

– Dai Jeffries, Rock and Reel ****