As a tribute to the late great Ronnie Lane, Des Horsfall’s Kuschty Rye The Good Gentleman’s Tonic is a mini-marvel (actually 14cmw x13h x1deep to be precise.) OK! That might seem a little daft in descriptive terms, but it’s the hardback wide-spined presentation of the CD that immediately impresses. Open it up and there are more delights in store with the lavish booklet and as well as the CD, a pocket on the back panel that holds a little gold envelope with a tea bag and a metal key contained within. You’ll have to read the story and listen to the CD to get the full concept behind the packaging and that offers yet more reasons to be cheerful. Deep joy indeed. Des has assembled a cast around himself, multi-instrumentalist Andy McKerlie and the fiddle and mandolin of Katriona Gilmore that includes three of Plonk’s old muckers Benny Gallagher, Charlie Hart and Steve Simpson. They play a raggle-taggle, rootsy hybrid that owes much to the Slim Chance sound and breeze through 10 tracks in a way that truly lifts the spirits. But it’s the Unwinese Mix that is track 11 that really makes the CD, featuring as it does Professor John Unwin sounding exactly like his dear old dad. Unashamedly inspired by side two of Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake, it’s quite brilliant. So if you’re “sitting comftibold two-square on your botty with a nice cuffalo-teedy,” you’re in for a treat. Here’s a video of the excellent Long Long Time from the album. Oh yes! For information about the forthcoming live dates link to their tour page.