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Wynding Road Music WR010

Yet another fine collection of songs by the most widely recognized purveyor of Aussie songs (and their close relations). Some Trad, two of Eric Bogle’s, one by Ewan MacColl (tune by MWR) and an old beaut by Graham Miles (Birds Among The Reeds). All delivered in the relaxed, wholesome manner that we’ve come to expect. Fifteen tracks in all, in a well-balanced and thoughtfully packaged product. If I had to choose a Top Track, it’s Gum Tree Canoe, but in truth there are no real ‘duds’ here, and at 71 minutes long he couldn’t have shoe-horned much more on to the disc.

Only one of his own complete compositions here (The Far And Fatal Shore – his own take on early transportation, handled with sensitivity – mind you a version of Van Diemens Land is also included, for comparison). He does, however, contribute a couple of tunes here and there. Mind you, he only averages two or three self-penned offerings per album, so this is on a par.

His assembled supporting musicians are all well chosen, but I’ll single out Iris Bishop (accordion and concertina) for particular attention, as she has been the glue that has held the whole affair together – just brilliant throughout, and as co-producer with Martyn and designer of the whole package, obviously an accomplished multi-tasker! Carolyn Robson also features predominantly throughout and there is tasteful hammer dulcimer by Joy Lewis, woven in and out of the tracks - though ultimately the real stars of this affair are Martyn Wyndham-Read and his choice of material. Superb on all counts.

Grem Devlin


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This album was reviewed in Issue 95 of The Living Tradition magazine.