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Leola Music TPGCD37

It is indeed “about time”. Fifty years ago, Wizz Jones, already a legendary guitarist, invited the young Ralph McTell to gig with him in Cornwall, leading to a lifelong friendship. They have gigged together, played on each other’s albums and talked about making a complete album together. Finally, in Cornwall for a few days they relived those glorious summers and busking days. Wizz says it is “back to the roots for two Croydon boys who only ever wanted to be Woody Guthrie or Jack Kerouac”.

I was in Cornwall most summers in the 60s directing a play at The Minack Theatre and managed to catch some of the music. This album is for everyone, but especially for those who remember Cornwall in the 60s or want to get a sense of what it was like. It isn’t perfect, and it wasn’t then, but it has a great atmosphere, these guys care about the songs and it is an object lesson in how to put a song across. The playing is varied in style and rock solid.

Deportees is taken a bit slower than it often is and carries a hefty punch; Dylan’s Abandoned Love captures the period and the mood perfectly, and is neatly paired with Alan Tunbridge’s When You’re Gone. I Never Did Sing You A Love Song closes the album.

This album is maybe not for purists, but it sure is for people who love music.

Frank Bechhofer

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This album was reviewed in Issue 116 of The Living Tradition magazine.