There are few singer songwriters who can deliver sentimentality quite as effectively as Tom Paxton. Somehow he pulls it off with utter aplomb.
By rights his material should have your teeth on edge it sounds so sweet. But Tom has absolute good taste on his side.
Hence the songs to his daughters, Jennifer and Kate, and his wife Midge work on multiple levels. While his tribute to the New York fire-fighters who risked life and limb during 9/11 is tear-jerkingly heartfelt.
He has the history too. He was one of that special generation of performers alongside Bob Dylan, Judy Collins and Peter Paul and Mary who cut their teeth on the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early sixties.
A Grammy nominee and lifetime achievement award-winner, Paxton has been writing, performing and recording ever since.
His songs have a timeless quality. Numbers like Bottle of Wine and Rambling Boy are perennial favourites. And by the time he got to his greatest hit, The Last Thing On My Mind, he was joined by a 500 plus voice audience choir.
His performance, accompanied by fellow guitarist Robin Bullock, was warm and welcoming.
And while he wears his huge experience lightly, he manages to convey a sense of nostalgia without seeming in anyway like a yesterday’s man.
As Tom himself says: “It’s fine to look back just as long as you don’t stare.”