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TIM HART & MADDY PRIOR "Heydays" Castle Music CMDDD809

It may have taken a while but I'm glad to see that the folk world has finally caught up with the real world. At least in terms of catching up with the backlog of vinyl albums long since deleted. Just last month I reviewed the superb set of Steeleye Span's first three recordings combined onto two discs. To accompany that we now have the equally enticing Tim Hart and Maddy Prior recordings 'Folk Songs Of Olde England Vol.1&2 plus Summer Solstice also on two disks. For fans of these recordings (and I count myself one) we can once again wallow in nostalgia admiring the purity and uncluttered treatment of songs such as 'Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy', 'The Dalesman's Litany' and 'The Brisk Young Butcher'. The first disk captures Tim and Maddy in their rawest form with occasional banjo, guitar, fiddle or dulcimer accompaniment. By the time the duo recorded Summer Solstice they were at least given the chance to spread their musical wings so to speak and by double tracking Maddy's vocals or adding Robert Kirby's string arrangement on 'Dancing At Whitsun' the full beauty of the songs is unbridled. In a time when flash instrumental arrangements of jigs and reels are all the rage, I must admit to a yearning for the good old days.

Pete Fyfe

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This album was reviewed in Issue 54 of The Living Tradition magazine.