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MOONRAKERS - Ebb & Flow 

MOONRAKERS - Ebb & Flow 
Private Label 

I last reviewed Moonrakers at the start of 2018, after a long hiatus: yet they didn’t disappoint, and instead reminded me what I’d been missing. And two years later, here they are again, delivering in spades.

They start off on the right foot, even before you take the CD out of its sleeve. They provide a fabulously legible liner booklet, and avoid filling it with lyrics: they have more interesting stuff to tell us. But they don’t forget their lyrics, as they have them on their website: and what a glorious website it is. Preamble over. Down to business.

Several of the 12 tracks are traditional, but there are also five compositions by founder member Jon Bennett, plus an instrumental by Brian Finnegan. All are performed with effortless authority by multi-instrumentalist Bennett, Eleanor Dunsdon (Celtic harp), Jacqui Johnson (cello) and vocalist Sarah Fell (who shows with her treatment of The Trees They Do Grow High, that she has the sweetest most ethereal voice since Clannad’s Moya Brennan). And surprisingly, somehow one doesn’t notice the lack of a specialist fiddle player in the current line-up... because, believe me, Liz van Santen was a hard act to follow.

Of Jon’s songs, his closing track All The Way Home was by some way his best, and perfect to end an album on. My favourite track however was Prickle-Eye Bush: only the second time this century I’ve heard that song and not pined for the great Marjorie Westbury and the Red Maids’ School Choir.

Dai Woosnam


This review appeared in Issue 134 of The Living Tradition magazine