Link to Living Tradition Homepage





VARIOUS ARTISTS / STICK IN THE WHEEL - From Here: English Folk Field Recordings Volume 2 

VARIOUS ARTISTS / STICK IN THE WHEEL - From Here: English Folk Field Recordings Volume 2 
From Here Records SITW011CD 

Ian Carter and Nicola Kearey of Stick In The Wheel venture out again to record performers from the English folk scene in intimate settings like front rooms and kitchens. The net is cast a little wider than on the first volume, with a strong showing from the North East. Performers range from stars like Chris Wood and June Tabor, through those making their way, to Belinda Kempster, a folk club singer who is the mother of SITW’s Fran Foote. All 14 tracks on this 50-minute album are stripped back, with plenty of unaccompanied singing and no fussy arrangements.

A few highlights. I loved Rachel Unthank’s The Sandgate Dandling Song from the North East tradition, voice full of a mother’s love as she tells her baby about her complex feelings for an abusive husband. Cottenham Medley, by the guitarist C Joynes, and Barbera Allen by Mary Humphreys & Anahata, are linked to much earlier song collecting in the Cambridgeshire village of Cottenham. Laura Smyth and Ted Kemp harmonise beautifully on Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy. Chris Wood’s So Much To Defend gives pin-sharp glimpses of everyday lives along the Thames. The twin fiddles of Sandra and Nancy Kerr on the Northumbrian tune, Nancy Clough, bring things to a stirring close.

The curators have a serious vision for the From Here project, seeing the folk music continuum as a way of exploring culture and identity in divided times. Your response to this ambition may depend on age and experience. For SITW’s younger fan base, I can see that this demonstration of a living tradition could be revelatory. Readers know how much good stuff is still out there, but many people don’t. Anyway, the music on this album is great.

Tony Hendry

Secure On-line mailorder service
Many CDs we review are available from The Listening Post.
Check to see if this CD is available.

The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 128 of The Living Tradition magazine.