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Falcon Records FRCD002 

A combination of these two well-known characters would not have been easy to predict, but choosing Rob as producer for John’s previous album led to a decision to perform together.

Rob is perhaps best known for his long-established duo with Alan Reid, though the majority of that duo’s recent performances has been in the USA rather than over here. He has also been the sound man and album producer for Battlefield Band.

The name of John Conolly will be linked for ever with Fiddlers’ Green. That classic song is not included here, but John revisits others of his best-known songs like Punch And Judy Man and The Widow Maker. The performance of this latter song stands out with its sensitive performance of moving lyrics in an album that is dominated by songs of various aspects of sea-going life as well as changing the moods, with humour at one of the scale and tragedy at the other. There are several very fine ones amongst them, and they make absorbing listening. The way he tells the story of The Pilgrim Fathers in Flowers Of May is particularly effective. John could not be described as an outstanding singer, but his voice has an engaging quality.

John’s melodeon is heard on a few tracks, but the main accompanying contribution comes from Rob, mainly on guitar or keyboards. He is also the producer and has achieved that typically bright, clear sound that is associated with his productions, particularly on the instruments.

Vic Smith


This review appeared in Issue 132 of The Living Tradition magazine