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PHIL LYONS - Time And Tide

PHIL LYONS - Time And Tide
Early Bird Studios

The booklet for this CD shows a photo of Phil Lyons, aged seven, holding his cousin’s guitar, and, says Phil, “I’ve loved the instrument ever since.” His passion has paid off. He plays with skill and confidence throughout this CD in self-backed songs and a couple of instrumentals. The repertoire is mostly English traditional and modern songs, but also includes a French element, illustrating his other musical dimension as a member of the English/French band, Bof!

Lyons’ singing owes little to other singers from the revival. He is his own man, with a distinctive voice. He gives a lovely performance of Anne Lister’s Icarus and follows this with L’Amant de Nantes (from his Bof! band work) sung in fluent French. More French elements come in his self-written tunes, Verteillac and Raz, a Breton dance tune. I should mention that he and his wife give workshops on Breton dances. The Cremation Of Sam McGee, the Robert W Service poem set to music by Lyons goes well, as does the Pete Morton song, Another Train. A word of praise is due to cousin Paul for placing his guitar in seven year old Phil’s hands.

Roy Harris

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This album was reviewed in Issue 99 of The Living Tradition magazine.