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- He is a folk singer, so he sings simple, heartfelt tunes with pickety guitar accompaniment that remind me of my family and other good people.
- He is Canadian, so we get to be proud of him, and he mentions places like Calgary in his songs.
- He is also Scottish, and sings with an audible accent. (Mmmmm, delicious.)
- His voice manages to be both alluring and avuncular in a way I can’t explain (guess I shouldn’t overthink that one)… and somehow familiar too.
- He can write/sing about innocent first love and a prostitute on the street with equal beauty – not to mention lots of other folksy things like sailors and hard work and trains and fairs and skating rinks.
- He has the courage and skill to sing about September 11th 2001 using such a sweet, almost uplifting melody that you can listen to it umpteen times before the lyrics sink in and it dawns on you that it’s actually a song about a nightmarish event and suddenly that same melody becomes haunting and incredibly sad.
- His “Carols for a Christmas Eve” album is exactly what it purports to be: traditional carols that you can sing along to, with slight nuances that make them his, and unconventional but pretty piano accompaniment that I rather wish I had written myself. And that Scottish accent…