Old and New Tradition ONTCD2061

Dave and Anni know what they do best. They seek out fine songs that move them, and they sing them with two fine voices that go together so well that the title of this album seems totally appropriate. For this selection they are joined by a chorus comprising Johnny Collins, Ian Giles, Sue Brown and Lorraine Irving - and there is enough power and talent in those six voices to make your toes curl!

There are fifteen songs on this album and there is only one occasion I can find where you hear a sound not made by a human voice (the sound of wind and sea on track thirteen, Anni's setting of the traditional Fisher Lad of Whitby). Engineer Martin Atkinson has done a superb job here by faithfully capturing, by turns, power, emotion, passion and humour. Surprisingly, perhaps, only three of these songs are labelled 'traditional'. The notes are brief but informative.

You might consider that one of the high points is Flowers of the Town (a C. Day Lewis poem set to music by LT's very own Roy Harris), but I would have to say that I am glad Dave and Anni chose to put Bring out the Banners (by John Warner and John Goss) at the end of the CD, because you would be hard pressed to find a song to follow this stirring version of a Union Anthem written in Australia as recently as 1997.

This is my current front-runner for 'CD of the Year'.

Phil Thomas

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This album was reviewed in Issue 71 of The Living Tradition magazine.