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JAKE WALTON - Sunlight And Shade  Celtic Song Affairs

JAKE WALTON - Sunlight And Shade Celtic Song Affairs
Heupferd Musik ISBN: 9783923445110

Jake Walton is a singer-guitarist resident in Cornwall, who I first encountered in a duo with Jez Lowe many years ago. I haven’t seen him live for some time, but he always impressed me with his knowledge and interpretation of traditional material, and his instrumentation. This collection of songs, 42 in all, is a brilliant collection of arrangements of traditional and contemporary songs, some of which are from the collaboration with Jez – in particular seven of them can be found on the rare 1986 Two A Roue album, thankfully now available on CD (although Patrik’s Song reappears here as Patrick’s Song).

The book has been typeset and published in Germany, and as such features a German translation of all of the extensive notes accompanying each song. Sadly, nobody told the German typesetters that German quotation marks („ and “) are not used in other languages – and this becomes tiresome after the first dozen times you see them in the English text.

These minor gripes shouldn’t detract from the content, which is a super collection of songs – from The Trees They Do Grow High to The Wheel Of Fortune, from Bogie’s Bonny Belle to Tom O’Bedlam’s Dream. Melodies and guitar tunings are provided for all, and a very useful chord chart at the rear for all the quirky chords. The book is also a handy size for popping into your gig bag, when session bound. All in all, a very useful book, and a great introduction to Jake Walton’s arrangements (and a couple of Jez Lowe rarities that you can’t find in his songbooks).

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 108 of The Living Tradition magazine.