Link to Living Tradition Homepage






Fflach Tradd CD358H

This CD (the title, in English, would be “from the Earth’s womb”), of predominantly traditional songs performed exclusively in the Welsh language, might at first glance appear somewhat inaccessible to those of us with little or no Welsh. Nothing could be further from the truth. Gwilym’s voice has a very broad and expressive range – and is a very fine voice to boot. Coming to traditional song from the world of Welsh language rock, he has more empathy with ‘our’ genre than one might expect, and an ability to communicate the material that helps transcend any language barrier.

He’s also listened to some excellent source singers and learned from them, including singer and collector Meredydd Evans from the Caernarfon area – a man who I always wished I’d met. A couple of Meredydd’s songs are included. He’s not been afraid to add verses to traditional material, and these work well on this song and on others. My favourite, however, was Bachgen Ifanc Ydwyf, an 18th century lament which Gwilym’s chosen to sing as a ‘call and response’ with the help of another fine singer, Gwyneth Glyn, thereby creating one of the album’s highpoints. In fact, there’s not a track that I didn’t enjoy.

Accompaniment to the songs comes from Gwilym (guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, harmonica), Patrick Rimes (fiddle) and Gwen Mairi Yorke (harp), and is subtle and unobtrusive, commenting on the stories as a good accompaniment should. The musicians get to confirm their abilities on only one instrumental set of (contemporary) tunes.

You’ll probably gather that I enjoyed this recording; I’ll be listening to it for a while yet.

John Waltham

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 116 of The Living Tradition magazine.