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KATE GREEN - A Dark Carnival 

KATE GREEN - A Dark Carnival 
Private Label KGCD002 

A strong, varied and very professional CD from Sheffield-based singer Kate Green. There is variety in both the choice of material and the musical arrangements across the 12 tracks, of which four are traditional songs and two more, When The Levee Breaks (Memphis Minnie) and Cuckoo Song (Kipling/Bellamy) are, to my mind, bordering on ‘trad’.

The album begins with two tracks that are in the full band-arranged mode, Lady Diamond and Levee; the former is something of a blockbuster starter – lots of instruments, but introduced gradually to dramatic effect, while the latter does not replicate the Led Zeppelin version, but still leans somewhat towards rock.

There are five original numbers, two with an ecological theme, one with more of a feminist message, one autobiographical and one relating to an historical incident (the USAAF crash in Sheffield in 1944) – again, a good variety. The range of material and arrangements did, however, make me wonder about some of the transitions: the band-arranged original, Maddy’s Leaving, coming between Lal Waterson’s Fine Horseman, with reduced instrumentation, and Cuckoo Song (unaccompanied), for example. Mind you, the logic of album sequencing has always been a mystery to me, and others might not hear anything awkward.

At the time of writing, Kate has some Yorkshire dates in February, and it will be interesting to see how this repertoire works in the live setting. As the saying goes, Kate can certainly sing a bit, and I imagine that this accomplished album will create a good deal of interest in more live work and further recordings.

Paul Mansfield


This review appeared in Issue 142 of The Living Tradition magazine