Reviews for Comfort & Joy

Literal solo albums where, in a fit of control-freakery, one artist writes, produces and plays all the
instruments are often dull, enclosed affairs but here, the ex-frontman of Any Trouble and regular
Richard Thompson foil avoids the traps well. Now rooted in Nashville, Gregson's easy melodies
combine with a naturalistic tilt that can deliver both breezy foot-tappers such as Antidote and If I
Was Your Lover, as well as more substantial, emotive tracks - Fingerless Gloves, String of Pearls
and the teary title track which disguises its emotional twist-in-the-tale with one of the melodies of the
year.
**4 STAR**
Rob Beattie
Q , Britain's Biggest Music Magazine

Each song stays in the memory long after the last notes of the album have drifted into the ether, like
old friends absent but not forgotten. In view of Clive's already accomplished C.V. it may come as a
surprise that "Comfort and Joy" contains some of his finest writing to date. It's hard to think of
another British songwriter who can transport you to the heart of the subject with a simple turn of
phrase. Songs such as the charming Antidote alongside the heart warming title track are quite simply
the product of a national treasure at the height of his expertise. If nothing else Gregson is living proof
that, contrary to popular belief, there's more to life than football.
Keith Whitham
Get Rhythm

Clive started out with Any Trouble, then in the mid-80s formed a musical partnership with Christine
Collister that took flight from the folk clubs into the broader arenas of folk-rock, gaining a solid
reputation for consistently high-quality writing and performing. He worked concurrently with the
Richard Thompson Band, all the while polishing his production skills, then during the 90s released a
series of excellent solo albums of which Happy Hour (1999) was his first for Fellside.
Comfort And Joy is difficult to review without repeating what I could have justifiably said about
almost any one of his previous albums. I just don't know how he comes up every time with a clutch
of fantastic new songs, each one with incisive yet appealing lyrics, a memorable melody, catchy
hooks, and a simple yet inventive arrangement each one meticulously crafted, with an acute pop and
folk sensibility.

Oh, and this release is an exception to the Fellside rule in that it was recorded in Nashville and Clive
has retained total artistic control, perfectly comfortable in his role as writer, producer, singer and
player of all instruments (annoyingly well, of course!). Many of the new songs are so immediate and
naturally crafted, they resonate in the mind long after the pictures that are conjured up by the lyrics.
Take the final three tracks for instance - Clive sneakily follows a song entitled Pretty Peggy-O (not
the folk standard!) with one entitled String Of Pearls (not the Glenn Miller!) that confounds our
preconceptions in a typically Gregsonian manner, then the title track starts with the all-too-familiar
line "A holiday, a holiday" then proceeds to transport us far from Matty Groves (it could be set in
Ladbroke Grove) in a heartwarming exploration of contradictory emotions in another of Clive's
typically simple but effective character vignettes. Yes, Clive effortlessly maintains his high artistic
standard with this new album.
David Kidman
Folk Roundabout

Clive has a rich, warm voice in the Gordon Lightfoot / Ralph McTell mould and his songs are
smooth, gentle paced folk rock, all of which are extremely pleasing on the ear. The Lightfoot/McTell
comparisons are most obvious on Frances O'Connor and Antidote and I thought I detected some
John Hiatt on Fingerless Gloves, I'm There for You and It's You I Want to Hold. In true solo album
style Gregson plays and sings everything you hear but it is the quality of his songs which shines like a
beacon.
Steve Ward
Wondrous Stories
The Journal of the Classic Rock Society

Clive Gregson has the uncanny knack of writing great, singable lyrics. Vocally he is no slouch either
with a style and warmth that settles in much the same way as I used to remember listening to
recordings by the likes of Bing Crosby. I also notice from the sleevenotes that there are no
accompanying musicians. Clever or what? For many years my contemporary folk hero was Ralph
McTell and now I've got another. Much like his previous recording 'People And Places' I can't find
anything to fault - ten out of ten!
Pete Fyfe
Various Roots Magazines

This new album is typical Gregson; he wrote all the songs, sang all the vocals, played all the
instruments and produced it in his Nashville studio. The result is a programme of gentle country
songs with a folksy ambiance, beautifully written and performed. Difficult to pick out my favourite
songs, there are so many, but try Frances O'Connor, If I Was Your Lover, White Suit of Notes and
Pretty Peggy-O.
Country Music Round-Up