Sjelvar Records SJECD22

Not names you’ll regularly come across on the local folk or Festival circuits.  On the evidence of this album I hope that will change rapidly.  As befits a group consisting of an emigrant Englishman plus some Swedish musicians, this is an eclectic mix of some well-known English material (Rambling Sailor, Sailor’s Life, Sheepstealer, April Morning) plus some excellent and unusual self-composed material.  This all rubs shoulders with French and Swedish dances plus a few other bits and pieces such as a Sweish/French song and a French/Cajun number. 

Richard Burgess (no relation!) is as good a singer as I’ve heard in quite a while whilst the quality of the singing and the sensitive and beautiful arrangements (with concertina, hurdy-gurdy, clarinet, guitar and härjedalspipa) are played with a skill, quality and vibrancy which unifies the whole and produces and absolutely lovely album. Lyrics and samples of some tracks can be found on their website  Nothing much more to say apart from to mention the gorgeous artwork and recommend you try it without delay - it’s a bit of a belter!

Paul Burgess

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This album was reviewed in Issue 75 of The Living Tradition magazine.