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Private Label CMM001

In 2015, the long-established musical partnership of Lancastrians Nick Caffrey and Ed McGurk came together with singer/songwriter/concertina player Robin Madge to form this trio, now at long last (after many well-received live appearances) releasing a CD. Accurately (and sensibly) reflecting the trio’s live repertoire, this CD is well named, for it illustrates the togetherness of the vocally well-matched participants, three men of like minds who clearly share and appreciate a common database of good songs and can deliver them with feeling and understanding in a style that’s equable, accomplished and harmonious and with just a simple, convivial modicum of instrumental accompaniment (guitar/cittern and/or anglo concertina) on around a third of the songs as required.

This well-stocked and responsibly-annotated 16-track disc presents a well-balanced and interesting selection of material. It includes a generous helping of solid-gold folk club favourites both traditional and contemporary (The Two Magicians and Plains Of Waterloo – the latter an unaccompanied solo by Nick – to Come By The Hills, Icy Acres and Braw Sailing On The Sea); those of a maritime bent work especially well. Then there’s a clutch of fine (some less-often-heard) recent folk compositions (by Bob Pegg, Dave J. Wilson, Richard Grainger, Alan Bell and Steve Harrison), alongside three of Robin’s own songs which are definitely worth the airing. Just as they do in the live setting, Caffrey McGurk Madge provide a reliable and genuinely entertaining programme for rewarding and repeated home listening, and this has been faithfully captured by Brian Bedford’s proven engineering skills.

David Kidman

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This album was reviewed in Issue 123 of The Living Tradition magazine.