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FIREBRAND "Lost Lady Found" CDF 095

This is really very good. A young English band, which has recently augmented its line-up adding double bass and flute to the previous instrumentation of fiddle, cittern and harps. Double Bass player Miranda Sykes takes the lead vocals on the five songs. There is a fresh bright sound to the playing and the line up of instruments allows for a great deal of interplay and subtlety. At the same time the double bass gives depth to the music and stops it sounding too airy-fairy. The Oikish Pete set of tunes is a perfect example of their abilities-strong ensemble work with good fiddle and flute solos also featuring. The one solo instrumental track is Leaping from the Nest, which is a nice harp piece from John Harris. The songs are from varied sources - mainly traditional except for Lincolnshire Song, which was written by Miranda's dad about his home county. Miranda handles the vocals well and again her performances are enhanced by the instrumentation and arrangements behind her. A good example is Moll Malone where the flute and harp together set the frame for the vocals.

Overall this is an excellent recording and one well worth seeking out. My one concern is that this is the first I have heard of this group although this is their third CD, albeit the first from the new line-up. The group and their management must ensure they reach as many people as possible. It would be a great pity if a recording and a band as good as this did not achieve their full potential.

David Thorpe

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This album was reviewed in Issue 46 of The Living Tradition magazine.