Causes and Cures by Al Baker and the Dole Queue is an interesting fusion of folk and punk influences with the art of the troubadour. Reminiscent of the work of Joseph Porter in melding searing political commentary on the issues of the day with clever and witty lyrics, the album feels both contemporary and full of echoes of the 1980s.
The highlight tracks are Granddad was an Anarchist, an inspiring chant with a family tale and the excellent Storytime, a wistful lament that life isn’t like the stories.
A nod to tradition comes from a lively and well-judged version of The Minstrel Boy whilst The Psychopomp Romp hits out at the favourite villains of the moment, the bankers.
Finished by the tender Thinking of You, Causes and Cures is a well balanced and engaging album.Mike Hough
Released 21 Feb 2011 on Irregular Records
1. Thank God I’m An Atheist
3. Green Lights and Gasoline
4. Granddad Was An Anarchist
5. The Minstrel Boy
6. The Psychopomp Romp
8. Jesus on the Touchline
9. Reinventing Kevin Bacon
10. Thoughts of You