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NANCY KERR & JAMES FAGAN - An Evening With Nancy Kerr & James Fagan 

NANCY KERR & JAMES FAGAN - An Evening With Nancy Kerr & James Fagan 
Little Dish Records LIDICD003 

Most of us enjoy a live recording by a good musical act, and this certainly ticks that box, and is sure to be welcomed by their legions of fans. The atmosphere of the two nights that provided the material for this album comes across palpably (particularly the second half), and Nancy and James’s ability to coax an audience into joining in is demonstrated throughout. At the same time, the applause has usually been minimized in the interests of getting more of the music onto the CD.

It’s several years since I last saw them perform at a festival, and the good memories from that time were certainly enhanced. The variety of the songs and music was broad, ranging from Caroline Hughes’ version of Barbara Allen (with that oddly positioned second verse) to the beautiful Mr Weather, given here as the encore. Musically, Nancy’s fiddle playing is dazzling and her changes from one tune to the next are something for others to envy. James’s renderings of the songs he led are excellent – he’s a good storyteller.

Chances are that many readers of this magazine will have heard these two live already, and will not be disappointed if they pick up this CD. If you haven’t been to see them, this recording will cost no more than a ticket to a concert, but be warned – you’ll almost certainly end up forking out for a concert ticket as well!

John Waltham


This review appeared in Issue 129 of The Living Tradition magazine