Show of Hands – No Song To Sing

Show of Hands - No Song To SingWhatever else, you can’t fault Show Of Hands. So, needless to say, this album comes recommended but, as it were in passing. There are now so many re-issues and re-worked arrangements turning up as compilations under different labels that it’s almost impossible to keep up. Here, we have the tried and the tested including ‘John Riley’, ‘Broomfield Hill’ and ‘Blackwaterside’.

For those of you that haven’t caught up with Phil Beer & Steve Knightley, now’s as good a time as any. Their interpretations of well established traditional material and of course Steve’s fine compositions are particularly well suited to the acoustic sounds of the guitar and mandocello. If you haven’t been converted already, pick up a copy.

Original Posting date – 12-June-2001
Reviewers Name – Pete Fyfe

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Cherish The Ladies – The Girls Won’t Leave The Boys Alone

Cherish The Ladies - The Girls Won't Leave The Boys AloneWelcome back to the girls! Mind you, on listening to the opening track ‘The Broom Of The Cowdenknowes’ I thought I was listening to The Rankin Family such is the power of the ensemble vocal performance.

The chosen path of the album seems to be heading towards a more mainstream audience with more songs than on previous outings. In their choice of Deirdre Connolly as lead vocalist, the girls have impeccably hit the mark again although she is aided and abetted by some legendary artists including the Clancy’s ‘Freeborn Man’ plus a veritable star-studded roster. Pete Seeger, Davy Spillane and Luka Bloom the list just goes on… Surrounded by such illustrious company, CTL should hopefully have found a vehicle in which to project themselves to that elusive wider audience.

I haven’t had the album off the turntable since I received it – Ten out of Ten!

Original Posting date – 12-June-2001
Reviewers Name – Pete Fyfe

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Jennifer & Hazel Wrigley – Skyran

Jennifer & Hazel Wrigley - SkyranInstrumental albums are notoriously hard to carry off. So, you have to be extremely confident and ready to roll with the punches when bearing your soul on record. Let’s just say that Jennifer and Hazel Wrigley take to the task with aplomb.

Orkney tunes feature throughout the album and there is a particularly haunting air ‘Sleepy Laddie’ that I’ve taken rather a shine to. The arrangement of piano and fiddle is in a word magical. This leads nicely into the double stopped ‘Dingeshowe Dancers’, a composition by Jennifer.

The laid back, syncopated feel gives the tune a kind of Appalachian approach that will have your head nodding to the infectious beat. The imaginative use of snappy guitar chords on ‘North Ron’ Reel’ lead us into the realms of Hot Club whilst ‘The Deerness Reel’ is pure White Heather Club. Musicians reading this review please note that if you’re looking for some new material, here would be a good place to start.

Original Posting date – 12-June-2001
Reviewers Name – Pete Fyfe

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Canterach – Canterach

Canterach - CanterachCor blimey! Scotland must count itself the session man’s home from home. Another band featuring a few recognisable faces namely Ross Kennedy, Steve Lawrence, Iain MacInnes, Alistair McCulloch and Rod Paul. For those of you that follow the Celtic scene as much as I do, this is another marriage made in heaven. But what of the music? Well, as you’d expect, there’s some impeccable instrumental work including a version of ‘Willie Nicholson’s Jig’ where the harmony interplay between mandolin, pipes and fiddle blends like a fine malt.

‘Johnny ‘Braidislea’ is given yet another airing but I’m not sure of the inclusion of ‘Elloiot’s Reel’ taking the edge away from the song as it’s performed in a major key. Far better is the following track ‘On The ‘Wings Of A Scorie/The Rejected Suitor’ where the unison leads set up the beautiful tone of Iain’s smallpipes. All in all, a very rewarding album.

Original Posting date – 6-June-2001
Reviewers Name – Pete Fyfe

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Old Blind Dogs – Fit?

Old Blind Dogs - FitOpening with ‘Is There For Honest Poverty’ (‘For A’ That’) it’s nice to see the Dogs really getting to grips with their material perhaps not returning to form (because they never really lost it) but continuing the legacy left by Ian Benzie.

That’s not to say that current lead vocalist Jim Malcolm doesn’t suit the band, far from it in fact. It’s just that the thrust of the vocal isn’t as obvious. Jim’s delivery is, it has to be said subtler and on tracks like ‘Reres Hill’ they positively shine. Instrumentally with Jonny Hardie on fiddle and Rory Campbell’s pipes, the band are reminiscent of the Tannahill’s but, the addition of Buzzby McMillan’s electric bass and Paul Jennings percussion the dynamic edge is enhanced.

For those looking for a bit of groove in their folk, check out the second track ‘Come A’ Ye Kincardine Lads’.

Original Posting date – 6-Jun-2001
Reviewers Name – Pete Fyfe

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Kate Rusby – Little Lights

Kate Rusby - Little LightsIt’s great to welcome back to the fold a bona fide British artist. In Kate Rusby, we have a treasure we need to grasp like a dying breath. With only the merest hint of Celtic undertones, some may feel this is over dramatic, but just check out the album for yourselves and you’ll see what I mean.

Kate not only sings traditional English songs, she writes them too! Innovation comes in many guises and here she pens lyrics in a style that would do justice to MacColl or Lloyd.

‘Playing Of Ball’ nestles comfortably alongside her own ‘I Courted A Sailor’ aided and abetted by a rather tasty guitar accompaniment from Ian Carr and the twin whistles and tenor banjo (!) of Michael McGoldrick.

John McCusker, once again at the helm as producer brings to bear a multitude of the folk Mafia for a sparkling album full of gems.

Original Posting date – 6-June-2001
Reviewers Name – Pete Fyfe

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.