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GEF LUCENA - Forest Bathing 

GEF LUCENA - Forest Bathing 
Saydisc CDSDL454 

Gef is the man behind Saydisc Records, a label that has been responsible for a large amount of output over the years, releasing many albums of traditional music, often with a particular historical or regional interest. He began writing songs himself back in the 60s, and here he gives us 16 of them, largely written over the last few years, with some based on earlier drafts.

The songs mainly concern themselves with matters to do with our world, and the current state in which it finds itself, and touch on issues such as plastic pollution, nuclear fuels, hunting, rainforest destruction, farming practices, and more personal responses to nature. They are witty in places, perceptive in others, and it’s generally easy to see the point Gef is trying to make. Throughout, he sings and plays bouzouki, whistle, banjo, mandolin and autoharp, and there are a few old recordings of him as part of the duo, The Crofters, included too, along with a recitation, recorded live at the Holub Poetry and Folk Club in Epney.

Gef isn’t always the strongest of singers, and some songs in this collection fare better than others. The same could be said for the musical accompaniments, which have an Early Music feel in places. Subtitled, Songs To Change The World (And Some Which Won’t), I suspect there may be more of the latter than the former, but regardless, some will enjoy Gef’s way with words here.

Fiona Heywood


This review appeared in Issue 135 of The Living Tradition magazine