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WildGoose Studios WGS423CD

This well-known duo are stalwarts of the folk scene in England, and deservedly so, as this recording demonstrates. Singing mainly contemporary songs, but performed in a traditional style, the two voices blend well and the concertina accompaniments underline the flavour of the singing style. There are also some traditional songs – well chosen and faultlessly performed, and a couple of instrumental tracks that bounce along in a very “English” style.

They’ve chosen newer songs from excellent sources such as Sydney Carter and Roger Watson, and all the material’s been moulded to suit them; their excellent vocal control, clarity and synchronisation, plus the almost instinctive nature of the accompaniments are all the result of many years of playing together. I particularly enjoyed their version of Van Diemen’s Land, with a couple of less familiar verses at the end, and also Sydney Carter’s Standing In The Rain, which I used to sing with my much-lamented friend Tony Rose – good to hear it again. There are four tracks relating to Christmas in some way, most of them worth hearing, although personally I didn’t enjoy the rather twee evocation of Father Christmas’s summer time occupation, but other views are available!

I did feel that the CD lacked a certain amount of light and shade; there could have been more contrast across the 17 tracks; but this is a rock-solid recording of good quality and will, I know, be eagerly sought by their many admirers.

John Waltham

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This album was reviewed in Issue 123 of The Living Tradition magazine.