Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Christmas has a horrible habit of feeding many addictions, of allowing the schmaltz and the more commercial, the more consumed side of the festive period to be seen in all disturbing glory. It is hard not to be cynical about the time of year when so many people are either left alone or in want of conversation, a roof over their heads or something to eat; it is the time of year that can bring out the very worst in people…and thankfully the absolute best, the most beautiful in humanity, it is a credo that Johnny Coppin adheres throughout his sincere and wonderful arranged album All On A Winter’s Night.
Like many of his musical kin, Johnny Coppin turns to the real point, the salient and proper point of the time of year, one of reflection not greed, one of harmony and not destruction, the very peace we all search for but for many arguably is one that comes with a price tag and with the only hope that it does not make too much of a noise.
Not perhaps so much Christmas with all its glitter and gold, the fashionable fighting for space with the five minute comfortable, instead this is honest contemplation, the community tree in the square, the signs of good things not cash till singing out as profit becomes a new and unsightly god. In all of this Johnny Coppin marks out the album with sincerity, with style and most important of all, true worth; it is a worth that has the smooth voice of the musician captivating his audience and one that is perfect for the time of year, one without a cola bottle in sight, just friends and loved ones enjoying Time.
With wonderful tracks such as How Far is Bethlehem?, Counting the Hours Till Christmas, Snow In The Street and a very superb version of the traditional song In The Bleak Midwinter, All On A Winter’s Night is a response to the commercial and the forever consumed that enough is enough, let the light be bright by all means but instead of fighting for that last extra pound to which some cannot afford, sit round a fire, tell stories, listen to your loved ones without reply and take in music that isn’t based on 20th century corporate machine, instead one of the best things you can do is listen and love Johnny Coppin.
Ian D. Hall