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Sara Grey "Boy She's A Daisy" Tradition Bearers LTCD1301

We are talking about musical magic here. Sara is able to weave spells with her wonderfully confident vibrato singing and the vibrant way in which her gentle frailing banjo compliments her singing. So she is one of the most convincing performers, but we have to add this to her unparalleled knowledge of and love of the English-speaking American tradition.

As usual Sara keeps things fairly simple, but she does use two very sensitive accompanists here. One is the English-based American fiddler Kate Lissauer and the other is the guitar of her son Kieron Means, himself well on the way to establishing a reputation as a superb performer of traditional song. As well as providing her with just the right sensitivity in their accompaniments, they join in some stunning harmonies in the refrain and chorus singing.

Sara's greatest performances over her long career have been of traditional ballads, but somehow she excels herself here and provides the best-recorded rendition of "The House Carpenter" that these ears have ever heard. Other highlights include her selection of war songs, particularly "Dear Honey". Struggling to find some less enthusiastic comments to balance this review - my reviews of Sara's album's always tend to the wildly enthusiastic - I could say that there are a few places where there is a little too much reverb on Sara's voice and given the empathy that the three musicians show in playing together, it would have enhanced the album to hear some dance tunes on fiddle and banjo. The conclusion would still have to be that this is a quite exceptional album by any standards.


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This album was reviewed in Issue 49 of The Living Tradition magazine.