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WILL NOBLE WITH CUTHBERT & LYDIA NOBLE - Itís Gritstone For Me

WILL NOBLE WITH CUTHBERT & LYDIA NOBLE - Itís Gritstone For Me
Veteran VT161CD

During the last War, the BBC frequently broadcast programmes on rural life delivered by a (Dorset) farmer, Ralph Wightman, whose deep, sonorous tones gave a sense of reassurance to the listening nation. The comparison with Will Noble is not an idle one – he also conveys that feeling of continuity and values that his Yorkshire singing tradition engenders, and this recording has some notably good examples.

Many of the songs here have been learned over the years from some of that fine bunch of singers who lived in the hills above Sheffield, some of whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and hearing on occasions. In particular, Will credits Frank Hinchliffe and Arthur Howard with providing a number of the songs, and these are names that will be familiar and welcome to many people reading this.

Not that all the songs are from Yorkshire – I was delighted to hear Fred Jordan’s version of the Outlandish Knight given a fresh lease of life in Will’s capable hands; one of three Child ballads making a very welcome appearance. There are also a couple of “Scowie’s” excellent poems (on dry stone walling – what else for Will?) put to music, as well as a couple of humorous pieces – in fact all the elements that are indispensable to a traditional singer’s repertoire are here.

As an added bonus, Will is joined on some tracks by his two children, Lydia and Cuthbert, giving a bit of variety to the sound. If you enjoy good singing in the traditional style, and a broad range of songs delivered in a relaxed and confident manner, then you should go out and get this one.

www.veteran.co.uk

John Waltham


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This album was reviewed in Issue 122 of The Living Tradition magazine.