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FIL CAMPBELL - A Place Of My Own

FIL CAMPBELL - A Place Of My Own
Glenshee Records GSR003

This CD of mainly traditional songs by one of Northern Ireland’s better known songstresses is the third in a series born of a set of TV programmes on lady singers in which Fil examined and profiled the singing of Delia Murphy, Mary O’Hara and Margaret Barry. Her singing has an enviable clarity and quality, but I wondered if it was always well suited to the songs she’d chosen: an example would be Erin Grá Mo Chroí, where comparisons with versions by (for example) Joe Heaney or Colm O’Donnell demonstrate what a powerful song this can be in the right hands.

On the other hand, tracks like My Singing Bird and a powerfully worded new song by Vince Keehan, Working The Streets are beautifully delivered, and for me an unexpected bonus was the lovely (and unknown to me) set of words to Haste To The Wedding, all beautifully enunciated. She is backed by husband Tom and several other very proficient musicians. It has to be said that the accompaniments are very predictable and not terribly adventurous, but this is easy listening material – somewhat in the John Kerr mould, for those with long memories – so possibly the public that this recording is aimed at will be looking for something familiar to sing along to rather than anything else. Fil’s many fans will, I’m certain, enjoy this recording. Me? Yes, it’s OK, but I want more guts in my singing.

John Waltham


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This album was reviewed in Issue 95 of The Living Tradition magazine.