Beneath the Black Tree
The Antimacassar; Edward; George Watson's Hornpipe; Barnstaple to Umberleigh; Benjamin Bowmaneer; A Trip to Marrowbone; Coronation Day; The Robber; The King of Poland; Flying Fishes.I was very enthusiastic about Nick Wyke and Becki Driscoll's first full-length CD, the Calling, when I reviewed it here a year ago - so what about this, their brand-new offering?
I have very frequently criticised revivalist performers for neglecting the stylistic element when learning songs or tunes from traditional sources, and satisfying themselves merely with the words and the tune. So I'm sorry to report that on this present CD we find the triumph of style over substance - and it's not the style of any traditional sources I'm talking about, but that of the Arts Centre circuit.
Almost all tracks follow the same formula; a long introductory passage, sometimes incorporating elements of the tune, which subsequently emerges, or which changes abruptly into the tune, which bears little similarity to what has gone before. It's true that the majority of tracks contain traditional tunes or songs - but really that's all that can be said to have any relevence to readers of these pages.
Rod Stradling - 8.6.09