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CAROLYN ROBSON - "All the fine young men" - Riever Records RVCRCD02

The young men of the title song are described as 'fine'. The same goes for Carolyn Robson's voice which has a maturity and calm that carries the listener easily through an album of fifteen lovely songs. Coming from her, a North-Eastern song choice is inevitable and appropriate, with gems like 'Bonny At Morn', Hexhamshire Lass', and the opening track 'I Drew My Ship Into The Harbour', quoted as a tribute to the late Phil Ransom, and a handsome effort too. Carolyn has some Scottish connection, shown by a grand 'McCrimmon's Lament' and the little-heard 'Lord Yester'.

Andy Johnson backs eight songs on keyboards, which made me uneasy when I read it on the credits. My misgivings were swept away by a set of simple, unobtrusive arrangements that let the voice stand out, proving that 'it ain't whatcha play, it's the way thatcha play it'. Speaking of credits, it's not often that you see one for 'percussive feet' - well stomped, Freya Tarbush. Fine.

Roy Harris

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This album was reviewed in Issue 38 of The Living Tradition magazine.