Ian Robb

Fallen Angle Music FAM 06

The double ‘i’ in this CD title, 'Jiig', is not a misprint. Lead singer Ian Robb has as his main backing artists the Ottawa musicians James Stephens, Ian Clark, and Greg T. Brown, known collectively as 'JIG'. Ian simply added his own initial, and Bob's yer Uncle, 'JIIG' it is. Neither is 'Fallen Angle' a typo. It's the actual name of the record label, also Ottawa based.

Ian Robb, once of the St Albans Folk Club, has lived in Canada for many years in which time he has won a respected place in the folk revival there as a soloist and with various groups including the 'Friends of Fiddler's Green', and latterly the excellent 'Finest Kind', twice reviewed favourably by me in these pages. Robb has a firm and robust voice well suited to the mainly English traditional songs he favours, and his diction is admirably clear even in quick movers like 'I Should Like To Be a Policeman’. When a gentler tone is called for as in 'Sweet Thames Flow Softly' for instance, he is well capable of producing it without sacrificing vocal strength, a trick only the better singers can pull off.

Ian Robb and his classy musicians bring us a satisfyingly varied album of traditional songs and tunes, plus a couple of Cyril Tawney compositions, 'Chicken on a Raft', and 'The Oggie Man'. His note to the latter ends "may Cyril Tawney write songs forever". Ian made that comment in 2004, little knowing that Cyril would pass away so soon after. How poignant those words seem now. However, Ian's singing, and that of many others all around the world, proves that Cyril's songs will live forever.

Roy Harris

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This album was reviewed in Issue 63 of The Living Tradition magazine.