Link to Living Tradition Homepage





HECTOR CHRISTIE & CHRIS EDWARDS - Ghaists In The Air: Songs Of Violet Jacob 

HECTOR CHRISTIE & CHRIS EDWARDS - Ghaists In The Air: Songs Of Violet Jacob 
Private Label 

This recording is doing a very worthwhile job; by shining the spotlight on the Victorian / earlier 20th century poetess Violet Jacob it draws attention to the remarkable talent this lady possessed. Others, such as Jim Reid, Sandy Stanage and Carole Prior have indeed put her poems to music before, but no one has previously taken a dozen of her poems and produced an entire recording based on her outstanding poetry.

The songs range from the mystical to apocalyptic to comical, and the quality with which these sentiments are expressed never drops. Nor does the sympathy with which they’re performed, and the tunes, be they traditional, by others, or by Hector or Chris, all fit the words well. Hector’s distinctive voice and Angus accent complement the dialect of the poems, and Chris’s skilled accompaniments are augmented by a selection of other musicians, all proficient. The end result is a very listenable CD.

But there are a couple of downsides. The sound quality is somewhat variable – the declared aim was to achieve a “round the table” sound, and I’m not sure it always worked. And the leaflet layout was a let-down; the songs’ words (important for those of us from further south) were given for the first two songs, and for the last one, but not for the others. Not satisfactory in my view – ships and happ’orths of tar come to mind. Also, a little proof reading would have avoided a slight glitch on the CD sleeve.

But these are minor points. Listen to the songs – they’re excellent.

John Waltham

Secure On-line mailorder service
Many CDs we review are available from The Listening Post.
Check to see if this CD is available.

The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 126 of The Living Tradition magazine.