Various Artists - The Magic of Morris

Various Artists - The Magic of Morris
Talking Elephant TECD076

This is a double CD comprising 48 tracks compiled by Steve Adamson of the Morris Ring from a wide range of sources, spanning a considerable period of time, and giving a comprehensive insight into music for Morris. The CDs are also accompanied by an informative booklet from Malcolm Holmes, giving details and history of all the performers, plus e-mail and website information. Early recordings of William Kimber including ‘Trunkles’, ‘Hunting the Squirrel’, and ‘Rigs O’Marlow’, sit happily alongside recent offerings from Crucible and The Great Grandson of Morris On, with lots of interest in-between! Border tunes from Silurian; Cotswold from Albion and White Rose; and several solo performances including anglo-concertina from Father Kenneth Loveless, fiddle from Chris Leslie, and ‘Abbots Bromley Horn Dance’ played by Jake Walker. Also it’s good to see that there are tracks from three mixed sides - Cry Havoc, Black Pig and West Hill – on this album.

Steve Adamson has made an excellent selection from the surprising amount of recorded material available, and although several of the tracks suffer from poor sound quality (due to their age, or simply from being live recordings), I don’t think that this detracts in any way, and on some of the live material it actually adds to their appeal.

Mel Howley

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This album was reviewed in Issue 64 of The Living Tradition magazine.