A Gower Garland

by Calennig

WGS299CD
Not Available

A celebration in song and melody of the rich cultural heritage of the Gower Peninsula in Wales.



..this album has been produced to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Phil Tanner the `Gower Nightingale Mick and Pat have been researching traditional material frorn Wales for over 20 years and the songs and tunes in this album are from the lovely Gower Peninsula of that picturesque principality. Fine stuff. Folk Northwest Summer 2000 The concertina-accordion duets are played with vim, invention and subtlety Shreds and Patches 2000

Gower Reel
Sample not available
Fair Phoebe and the Dark-Eyed Sailor
Sample not available
Gowerton Fair
Sample not available
Sandy Banks
Sample not available
Brandys Song
Sample not available
Poor Old Horse
Sample not available
The Mistletoe Bough
Sample not available
Rise Up a New Years Morning
Sample not available
The Wassail Song
Sample not available
Lumbers (the Coosha)
Sample not available
Soap
Candles
Sample not available
Mumbles Hornpipe/Porteynon Whim
Sample not available
Swansea Barracks
Sample not available
Souling Song
Sample not available

Folk Northwest

Derek Gifford

To those of you who regularly attend Lancaster and other maritime festivals Calennig, who are Mick Terns and Pat Smith, will be familiar to you. They are the full?of?life couple who jolly along their audiences with lively sea songs and tunes. This CD includes some material which is sometimes included in their maritime sets but more by coincidence than intention because this album has been produced to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Phil Tanner the `Gower Nightingale. Phil Tanner is probably one of the best known of the `old traditional Welsh singers who had a fine voice and a wide repertoire of songs. Mick and Pat have been researching traditional material frorn Wales for over 20 years (theyre older than they look!) and the songs and tunes in this album are from the lovely Gower Peninsula of that picturesque principality. The songs and tunes are from the repertoires of several singers including , of course, some from Phil Tanner and are sung and played with the sort of professionalism that youd expect from two seasoned performers. There are several tracks here that I particularly like including the Phil Tanner version of `The Dark Eyed Sailor and `Poor Old Horse from the singing of Marjory Bowden of the Bowden family from Mumbles the latter of which is very different from the more well known maritime version in that this is a Christmas song. In fact there are a number of Christmas songs and tunes included as well as a `rowdy New Year song and a Wassail Song. Mick shows his prowess at lilting Welsh style on `Lumbers(The Coosha) a Welsh step dancing tune and Pats fine spoon playing is featured too naturally! Another track that took my fancy was the unaccompanied `Soap, Starch, Candles. As is to be expected from a Wildgoose production the album is attractively produced and has extensive notes on the songs as well as information on the Gower, Phil Tanner and the 2 hour show which Mick and Pat perform with The Rag Foundation called `A Gower Garland. Fine stuff.

Roots World

Jim Foley

Calennig paints a musical portrait of a Welsh past redolent with surface

familiarity, especially in its conformity with contemporary nostalgic

notions of Christmas, but also deeply challenging in the pagan pageantry

implicated in Yule traditions.  On A Gower Garland, their tribute to the

late Gower Peninsula minstrel Phil Tanner, Mick Tems and Patricia

Carron-Smiths dual accordions offer high-spirits and incipient goofiness,

but without an overtly humorous intent. Tems vocals are so spirited you

can hear his smile; Smith adds open-toned, slightly over-the-top accompaniment.

Gower Reel sets the stage musically, with a heavy yet bouncy accordion

rhythm, peculiarly Welsh vocal scat, and spoon percussion.  Surrounded by

light, lilting jigs, accordions like church organs with their walking bass

lines, Sandy Banks resolves into a joyous Christmas tune.  The minimally

accompanied but vocally dense Brandys Song and Poor Old Horse, with

its deliberate chorus and swinging verses, are likewise Yule songs, lyrics

strangely compelling, but relatively impenetrable without detailed

knowledge of Horse Head customs.

Calennig shines brightest on their story songs.  Gowerton Fair is a first

person narrative of an amorous swain thwarted by a coy miners wife.  On

The Mistletoe Bough, a piano and violin waltz, Tems and Smith exchange

lead lines in the tale of the tragic forbidden love of a man and a

fairy.  Soap, Starch, Candles is a nuanced a cappella tale of a man, his

sweety, and her fathers corner store, to the proprietorship of which he

reluctantly but happily succeeds. A Gower Garland is a triumphant

preservation of a peculiar past, one in which it is a pleasure to become

lost.  

Shreds and Patches

Flos Headford

Theres something quite old?fashioned sounding about this. It ought to be, in one sense: the CD marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Phil Tanner, widely admired Gower singer and dancer. In another sense, it is because Calennigs style seems trapped in the 1960s. The concertina?accordeon duets are played with vim, invention and

subtlety. The singing is, however, mannered ? self?conscious rather than song?conscious.

The Mistletoe Bough is frankly unconvincing. Those who are Calennig fans (and there are many) will not find this a barrier to enjoyment of an interesting collection of tunes, which are well documented in the booklet. I must say that it has renewed my interest in getting hold of recordings of Phil Tanner.


Folk Northwest

Derek Gifford

To those of you who regularly attend Lancaster and other maritime festivals Calennig, who are Mick Terns and Pat Smith, will be familiar to you. They are the full?of?life couple who jolly along their audiences with lively sea songs and tunes. This CD includes some material which is sometimes included in their maritime sets but more by coincidence than intention because this album has been produced to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Phil Tanner the `Gower Nightingale. Phil Tanner is probably one of the best known of the `old traditional Welsh singers who had a fine voice and a wide repertoire of songs. Mick and Pat have been researching traditional material frorn Wales for over 20 years (theyre older than they look!) and the songs and tunes in this album are from the lovely Gower Peninsula of that picturesque principality. The songs and tunes are from the repertoires of several singers including , of course, some from Phil Tanner and are sung and played with the sort of professionalism that youd expect from two seasoned performers. There are several tracks here that I particularly like including the Phil Tanner version of `The Dark Eyed Sailor and `Poor Old Horse from the singing of Marjory Bowden of the Bowden family from Mumbles the latter of which is very different from the more well known maritime version in that this is a Christmas song. In fact there are a number of Christmas songs and tunes included as well as a `rowdy New Year song and a Wassail Song. Mick shows his prowess at lilting Welsh style on `Lumbers(The Coosha) a Welsh step dancing tune and Pats fine spoon playing is featured too naturally! Another track that took my fancy was the unaccompanied `Soap, Starch, Candles. As is to be expected from a Wildgoose production the album is attractively produced and has extensive notes on the songs as well as information on the Gower, Phil Tanner and the 2 hour show which Mick and Pat perform with The Rag Foundation called `A Gower Garland. Fine stuff.

Roots World

Jim Foley

Calennig paints a musical portrait of a Welsh past redolent with surface

familiarity, especially in its conformity with contemporary nostalgic

notions of Christmas, but also deeply challenging in the pagan pageantry

implicated in Yule traditions.  On A Gower Garland, their tribute to the

late Gower Peninsula minstrel Phil Tanner, Mick Tems and Patricia

Carron-Smiths dual accordions offer high-spirits and incipient goofiness,

but without an overtly humorous intent. Tems vocals are so spirited you

can hear his smile; Smith adds open-toned, slightly over-the-top accompaniment.

Gower Reel sets the stage musically, with a heavy yet bouncy accordion

rhythm, peculiarly Welsh vocal scat, and spoon percussion.  Surrounded by

light, lilting jigs, accordions like church organs with their walking bass

lines, Sandy Banks resolves into a joyous Christmas tune.  The minimally

accompanied but vocally dense Brandys Song and Poor Old Horse, with

its deliberate chorus and swinging verses, are likewise Yule songs, lyrics

strangely compelling, but relatively impenetrable without detailed

knowledge of Horse Head customs.

Calennig shines brightest on their story songs.  Gowerton Fair is a first

person narrative of an amorous swain thwarted by a coy miners wife.  On

The Mistletoe Bough, a piano and violin waltz, Tems and Smith exchange

lead lines in the tale of the tragic forbidden love of a man and a

fairy.  Soap, Starch, Candles is a nuanced a cappella tale of a man, his

sweety, and her fathers corner store, to the proprietorship of which he

reluctantly but happily succeeds. A Gower Garland is a triumphant

preservation of a peculiar past, one in which it is a pleasure to become

lost.  

Shreds and Patches

Flos Headford

Theres something quite old?fashioned sounding about this. It ought to be, in one sense: the CD marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Phil Tanner, widely admired Gower singer and dancer. In another sense, it is because Calennigs style seems trapped in the 1960s. The concertina?accordeon duets are played with vim, invention and

subtlety. The singing is, however, mannered ? self?conscious rather than song?conscious.

The Mistletoe Bough is frankly unconvincing. Those who are Calennig fans (and there are many) will not find this a barrier to enjoyment of an interesting collection of tunes, which are well documented in the booklet. I must say that it has renewed my interest in getting hold of recordings of Phil Tanner.