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VARIOUS ARTISTS - Folk Awards 2012

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Folk Awards 2012
Proper Records  PROPERFOLK12

Love them or hate them, the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards are now firmly part of the musical calendar each year, and each year the event is commemorated by the release of a CD featuring those artists to be nominated for awards.

This year’s release is a three CD set, two of which contain tracks from the nominees, with a bonus CD containing offerings from the Young Folk Award contenders (though this was not included in the review pack so isn’t covered here!)

The discs contain some great music – mostly songs, only four of the 22 tracks are instrumentals.  June Tabor, winner of four awards including Folk Singer Of The Year, sings on the opening track with Oysterband, and also gives us a beautiful version of The Oggie Man with a gorgeous piano accompaniment.  Martin Simpson gives us a very different, very fun, version of Lakes Of Ponchartrain for which he received a Best Traditional Track nomination.  Tim Edey & Brendan Power show us why they are worthy winners of Best Duo (and Musician Of The Year for Tim) with the title track of their album Wriggle & Writhe.  And there is more harmonica virtuosity, this time with banjo on Walsh & Pound’s The Jolly Beggarman

As you would expect on a compilation of this sort, not all of the tracks are to my taste, and I do find a few of them a bit “middle-of-the-roady”.  I also feel that there are some significant sections of the folk world unrepresented.  But that is an argument for another day.  In general, this is a good album of quality music which will hopefully help people discover more of the great folk music that is out there.

Fiona Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 91 of The Living Tradition magazine.