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FIDDLE AND FAFF - The Soldier’s Wife 

FIDDLE AND FAFF - The Soldier’s Wife 
Private Label FF0218 

Fiddle And Faff are Kentish duo Lissie Bayford and Christine Adams. The close and effective blend of the two voices betrays experience and mutual understanding. Both sing and also play, variously: fiddle, double bass, accordion, nykelharpa and mandolins. Apart from the contribution of Harvey Summers, who plays daf and bodhrán - each on one track - the entire CD is the singing and playing of Fiddle And Faff.

The 12 tracks are a mix of traditional and self-penned songs, except for the opening track - the Colcloughs’ The Call, sung unaccompanied and with a superb blend of the two voices. It is one of two unaccompanied songs on the album, the other being The Colour Of Amber. There are creative and original arrangements on songs such as Keys Of Canterbury and All The Pretty Little Horses. Overall, however, the tracks tend to be dominated by (often pizzicato) fiddle and double bass – rather incessantly in the case of Geordie! One surprise is the inclusion of Still I Love Him which is rarely sung nowadays due to its apparent acceptance of domestic violence and misogyny – the ‘jazzy’ arrangement does not lessen the impact of the words. The justification for inclusion is, perhaps, given in the brief text on the triple gate-fold card cover: “there are many stories of love which makes a sacrifice and so emerged the theme of the songs featured on this album.”

Overall this is a well-recorded, well-produced album from a duo that has created its own sound and approach – and very nice it is too.

Tom Brown

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This album was reviewed in Issue 126 of The Living Tradition magazine.