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WILL POUND - Through The Seasons

WILL POUND - Through The Seasons
Lulubug Records LULUBUG004

This is a concept album – Morris dance tunes through the seasons - and features a collection of exceptional contemporary musicians (Kirkpatrick - both the younger and the senior; fiddlers Reid, Coupar and Carthy the younger), in addition to Pound himself – thrice nominated Musician of the Year at the Folk Awards. Although the CD is of ceremonial dance tunes, chronologically moving through the year, it is definitely a ‘listen-to-what-we-do-to-the-tunes-to-be-clever’ album rather than recordings that, with a few exceptions, could be used for dancing (one exception being where the Newcastle Kingsmen perform live on the recording – on this track we also have Suzanne Fivey on grand piano with Pound on harmonica, where his virtuosity on the instrument is given full rein). Nearly every track has the apparently obligatory syncopated phrase and ‘modern’ chordal progressions. The variation in musicians, which changes as we move around the country and through the seasons, produces a disparity between tracks which makes a random (no, not the band) playing order more satisfying than a sequential listen. It is the content that hangs the CD together, not the concept.

For me, the standout track is Sousa’s Liberty Bell (representing North-West Clog Morris) which, paradoxically, is also the tune least tampered with of the whole CD. Overall, a fascinating album which will delight Pound fans and offer new approaches to aspiring folk musicians. The English Arts Council funding behind both this album and the associated tour of the Through The Seasons show has not been wasted.

Tom Brown

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This album was reviewed in Issue 125 of The Living Tradition magazine.