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SKINNER AND T’WITCH - The Fool’s Journey

SKINNER AND T’WITCH - The Fool’s Journey
Private Label

A second album from the Leeds based duo, The Fool’s Journey presents 12 contemporary songs written by Steve Skinner, with Sandra Twichett featuring on vocals.

With imaginative lyrics and inventive rhymes, Steve takes the brave step of applying his songwriting talents to historical events. Topics range through King John’s army, Nelson’s navy and the Spanish Armada. In Snow White, there is an exploration of how the idealised characters from nursery rhymes can be turned sour by life’s harsh experiences. The song styles vary, from the mellow and ethereal atmosphere of Crazy Dreams (two versions are on the CD), to the near folk-rock It’s Alright Now. Amid compositions rooted in the depths of English folk, such as England’s Spring and The Winter Song, hints of flamenco and jazz appear, for instance, in the track about the current immigration crisis (Calais Nights). Throughout the CD, there is a focus on relationships, and the impact of events on individuals.

Lead vocals are shared, with Sandra’s classical influences contrasting neatly with Steve’s more earthy tones. The two also harmonise on various songs to excellent effect, shown to best on Love Me Forever. Accompaniment is largely provided by Steve’s guitars, although Mike Jordan also contributes. Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne plays melodeon and concertina, most prominently on the title track.

The Fool’s Journey is an intriguing blend of multiple influences, with depth and craft in every track. Sandra Twichett and Steve Skinner, two technically accomplished musicians, combine seamlessly to create a fascinating range of styles and subject matter.

Jim McCourt

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This album was reviewed in Issue 120 of The Living Tradition magazine.