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Lowland Recordings LOWLAND019

Many of you will be familiar with this husband and wife team, captured here together on CD in 15 songs, giving a snapshot of their live act. Stephen was a member of The McCalmans for the last nine years of their existence (hard to believe that it is now five years since their demise) and at least half of the songs here would not have been out of place in a Macs set list. Pernille, a native Dane, is an accomplished songwriter and has contributed four of the titles herein.

There are great takes on Where Have All The Flowers Gone (Pete Seeger) and Jamie Raeburn. Only Remembered is a hymn from 1891 popularly re-used as a WW1 song, and is a welcome inclusion. Two Matt McGinn songs will cheer many of you that way inclined. The pair have an easy going style and perform well on guitar(s), banjo and mouth organ, with occasional bass contributions from Martin Talbot, and their vocal harmonies are tight. My only real negative comment is that I find myself wanting for more instrumentation – maybe a guitar solo here, or a third guitar part there, even a smattering of keyboards in places. Hey that’s just me, I like a fuller sound – and this album reflects their live act, thus being also an ideal souvenir for departing punters. It’s nicely packaged, with all the lyrics and descriptive notes – so full marks for presentation anyway. On that basis it is fine and dandy as far as I’m concerned.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 109 of The Living Tradition magazine.