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Tradition Bearers LTCD1106 

Steve Turner’s return to the folk scene just over 10 years ago has re-established him as a particularly convincing song interpreter, as I can vouch for myself, based on a couple of appearances by Steve at Tigerfolk in Long Eaton. His new album attracts attention because of the number and status of guest musicians (Eliza Carthy, Martin Simpson and more), but it is one of a series of admirable recordings since 2008.

Late Cut has proportionately more American material than I can recall from Steve’s live sets. One such track, I Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow, didn’t strike me as the best song for Steve’s voice, but it is immediately followed by Sullivan’s Farewell (a U.S. Civil War item derived from a letter home from a Confederate officer). This is accompanied by piano and cello and is absolutely spot on. Sullivan’s Farewell is then followed by The Road To Tipperary – what a pair of tracks these are, terrific stuff. The latter is accompanied by Steve on his trusty concertina with Sam Carter on guitar.

Other numbers include a top-notch version of Dylan’s Is Your Love In Vain? and, representing the traditional British end of the spectrum, The Rambling Sailor and The Two Sisters – fine renditions both, but I feel we must be nearing ‘peak Two Sisters’ with the number of times it’s been recorded recently!

Both the album and Steve’s live performances can be highly recommended.

Paul Mansfield

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This album was reviewed in Issue 128 of The Living Tradition magazine.