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Rise to Candleford, and nowadays exclusively here they are back with a new album: and they worse, and I’d have to say What A Friend You
published as a single volume (and having given are back on top form. And on five tracks they Are and - perhaps – Home To Me (Is Anywhere
rise to multiple merchandise spin-offs, and are joined by Sue Burgess and Ron Taylor to You Are). Why? Well, with the former I cannot
more recently a TV series). This outing was re-form their a cappella group Regal Slip. I hear the song without recalling the glorious
prompted by the opening of a Flora Thompson think those five tracks shine like a beacon. harmony voice of Mary Hopkin on Tom’s
exhibition in Buckingham, and a second TV They strike me as good a four part a cappella original from the 70s. And with the latter, pretty
series – and thus a golden opportunity to take group as I have ever heard (and that includes much the same thing: the chorus harmonies
the accompanying music on tour (so don’t The Watersons!). But push me to choose my from Anne Hills and the late Bob Gibson on the
be surprised if there’s a sequel to this disc). favourite tracks on the album, and they have Best of Friends version are just unsurpassable.
The books take the reader back to a pre-war to be the big solo ballads from Eileen. This
unspoilt rural England, which AH has done well truly gorgeous SOARING voice of hers finds A fine album, with only one track that seems
to recapture as an audio experience. the perfect match in the standout closing track out of place: Jennifer and Kate, the saccharine
“Lark In The Clear Air”. Her singing of this hymn of praise to his two daughters. It is
The original incarnation featured most of the love song (with words from the pen of the early probably his insurance policy to ensure
folk luminaries of the time. In contrast, this is a 19
th
century Irish poet and collector of airs, Sir that they don’t at some future stage get him
much lower key affair, but does recapture the Samuel Ferguson) is so sublime that should sectioned or sent off to an old folk’s home.
finest Morris On style moments of the original an Exaltation of Larks do their own version of
– particularly in Brighton Camp (AKA The Girl I it from my garden trees tomorrow, I will tell No danger of that. I reckon Tom will still be
left Behind Me). As before there’s a fair amount them that alas they have been beaten to it by making quality albums twenty years from now.
of narrative in between the songs and tunes, to a human.
give the effect of the show, and it mostly works, Dai Woosnam
but the children’s vocal efforts on May Song Dai Woosnam
can only be described as worthy also-rans.
PEGGY SEEGER
If you aren’t familiar with the story, it doesn’t
TOM PAXTON
Bring Me Home
really gel as a concept album, but being
Comedians & Angels
mostly aimed at punters who’ve seen the
Appleseed Recordings APRCD1106
show, either live or on TV, it works on that level
Appleseed Recordings APRCD1105
alone. My ultimate highlight is the guitar solo
on Bonny Labouring Boy, by Mark Hutchinson,
who is also due plaudits for engineering
and producing the entire album. Hutchings’
bass is as ever steadfast throughout, and the
packaging at least helps the uninitiated to
make sense of it all.
Grem Devlin
GRAHAM &
EILEEN PRATT
The Greek King’s Daughter
Grail CD008
This is third and final volume of Peggy’s “Home
This is Tom’s first studio CD since 2002. And Trilogy”, a selection of largely traditional songs,
it marks his turning 70. (And whilst we are mostly learned in childhood. Now, I won’t use
dealing with numbers, let’s acknowledge the up valuable reviewing space on the facts of her
fact that his body of recorded work is immense: Washington DC childhood - the famous brother
he now has over 40 albums under his belt. And and even more famous half-brother, the Music
there has not been a dud amongst them.) This Professor dad – and instead take it as a given
latest is a mix of new and old. There he is on that you folk reading this are up to speed on
the cover, resplendent in his trademark Dutch her background.
barge captain’s cap, looking for all the world
like a character straight out of a Van Gogh Now, the thought occurs that with a
painting. And inside the CD cover, we find background like Peggy’s one could hardly
Tom on disc using colours vivid enough not to not be a sponge and soak up such fantastic
disgrace Vincent’s palate. influences. Good golly, even her cleaning
lady turned out to give the world the wonderful
The album was recorded in Nashville by Freight Train! Having listened to this delightful
frequent Paxton producer Jim Rooney (who album three times through, all I can say is
I cannot remember how long it has been since
also contributes backing vocals), and features that if as she says these songs were “mostly
we were last blest with a new album from
several of the musicians who appeared on that learned in childhood”, then Peggy had a most
Graham & Eileen. An age ago, certainly.
2002 CD. Foremost amongst them are Tim precocious childhood compared to me and all
Crouch on mandolin and fiddle, and Al Perkins my chums.
Not that they had totally disappeared from
on Dobro and slide guitar. The contribution of
the recording scene, there have been; two
both was immense. The album is dedicated There were my pals and me learning Rock
acclaimed CDs recorded with their “baby”, The
to his beloved wife Midge. And of course that Around The Clock and Diana, and Peggy
Sheffield Folk Chorale, which Graham founded
is only fitting, since several of the love-songs 3000 miles away, learning Roving Gambler
in 2001; an 80-strong choir, which performs
are/were penned with her in mind; and it is an and Newlyn Town! But golly, ain’t I glad
Graham’s 4-part arrangements of traditional
album that proves worthy of a special “round she learned those gems. Because here she
songs and less familiar carols and a choir that
number” birthday. I tended to like the old love delivers them all from the heart, and with real
has raised more than £12,000 for charity.
songs best. And most of them come up as gusto; and occasionally with just her banjo
fresh as a daisy in this new package. But push for accompaniment. And strangely her voice
But golly, we have missed them as a duo. And
me to name a couple of them that come off sounds identical to when first I heard it 40 years
The Living Tradition - Page  Sponsored by BIrnam CD
Issue80.indd 48 14/7/08 14:54:50
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