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Get Real Records GGRCD014

Odd this – the album consists of 6 numbers which were recorded 10 years ago, when the two were members of the late-lamented Kings of Calicutt, whose influence pervades proceedings: tunes and songs from Eliza Carthy, Nancy Kerr, the version of Devil and the Feathery Wife that Martin Carthy sings.  This has been topped up (albeit to a very meagre 45 minutes) with a few new sets recorded recently.  The various chunks go together very well and I’m trying to work out if that’s because they’re just as good as they were, or they’ve made no musical progress – I’m going for the former!

A lot of the material is traditional but there’s some more recent stuff, particularly Don’t You Go, a fabulous song composed by the late John Martyn sung very sweetly by Teph Kay, but with the accompaniment balanced so loud that I can hardly make out any of the words – a shame as it’s a powerful protest song.  The liner notes say “during our research for this album” although this seems fairly superficial – for instance Sweetness of Mary is given as trad. and is said to be a Scottish strathspey.  In fact it is Cape Breton (and therefore Canadian) and was composed by Joan MacDonald Boes – and is still very much in copyright!  As a whole, the album sounds particularly good – strong robust singing (if occasionally a little well elocuted), zesty, vibrant playing, a good ear for effective accompaniments and some really nice material.  A definite thumbs up and I look forward to them getting back to the studio a little sooner next time!

Paul Burgess

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This album was reviewed in Issue 82 of The Living Tradition magazine.