Picks and Pans Review: Johnny Flynn

updated 08/25/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/25/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

A Larum

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Singer-songwriter Johnny Flynn takes the title of his U.S. debut from a Middle English term. And this South African-born, Welsh-bred troubadour has also dabbled as a poet and a Shakespearean actor. He certainly brings plenty of old-world charm to A Larum, reviving the sounds of traditional English and Irish folk music. A multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, violin, trumpet, accordion, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, organ and percussion on the album, Flynn is just as adroit spinning stories with vivid characters and imagery. And his lilting croon provides just the right narrative tone for these tales that take a page out of Chaucer.

DOWNLOAD THIS: "The Wrote & the Writ," a lovely, literate ballad

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