Christine Tobin: Pelt

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Christine Tobin
LABELS: Trail Belle Records
ALBUM TITLE: Christine Tobin
PERFORMER: Christine Tobin (vocals), Phil Robson (guitar), Liam Noble (piano), Dave Whitford (double bass), Simon Lea, Lorraine Baker (drums) et al


A real constant with Christine Tobin’s music is its underlying jazz sensibility – she always surrounds herself with top drawer jazz people and she too plays her versatile voice like an instrument. In other ways, the Irish born singer/composer’s art is hard to pin down: she can be rocker, blues belter, or singer of love songs.

Muses that have been given the Tobin treatment in the recent past include WB Yeats, Carole King and Leonard Cohen. Now it’s the turn of Pulitzer Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon, whose pungent words have been fitted to feisty original music written by Tobin for a programme that covers the Americana waterfront. A supper club swinger, ‘After Me’, is sandwiched between the swaggering metal of ‘San Simeon’ and on the other side by the Joni Mitchell hued ‘Promises Promises’. The title track, ‘Pelt’, needs little more than piano and Tobin’s luminous articulation to convey its sombre message. The album is a masterclass in songcraft.


Garry Booth