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GEF LUCENA - Songs Of The Sea

GEF LUCENA - Songs Of The Sea
Saydisc CDSDL443

A straightforward, unpretentious double CD of sea songs, Gef Lucena sings solo, and provides his own stringed accompaniment on 23 of the 25 tracks.

The track list could almost be a ‘greatest hits’ of sea-faring folk compositions, and includes such classics as Three Score And Ten, The Grey Funnel Line, Ellan Vannin and Lord Franklin. Some whaling songs are thrown in, e.g., The Bonnie Ship The Diamond, Farewell To Tarwathie and Greenland Whale Fisheries. The only shanty is Across The Western Ocean. There is poignancy in two tracks of a different kind, dating from the 60s and Gef and Martin Pyman’s duo, The Crofters. Pill Ferry celebrates the little boat that used to cross the Avon, while The Ballad Of The Severn Bridge commemorates the bridge building.

A detailed and finely presented 32 page booklet contains notes and lyrics for all the songs.

Gef Lucena was one of the mainstays in the vibrant Bristol folk scene of the 1960s.
A poet and musician (he helped set up, and ran, the Bristol Poetry and Folk Club), he also founded the important independent record label, Saydisc, which recorded countless local folk, blues and jazz artists, as well as innumerable local events and sounds.

A throwback to another time, Songs Of The Sea is a reminder of some excellent material. Sung plainly and simply, but with enthusiasm, the album can be a resource and inspiration for would-be singers, as well as an opportunity to hear again from a veteran folk stalwart.

Jim McCourt

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This album was reviewed in Issue 119 of The Living Tradition magazine.