Well Seasoned

by Keith Kendrick

Songs and tunes which reflect the turning of the seasons and the passing of the ritual calendar. The album has songs for each of the major seasons plus songs from the Sheffield Christmas tradition, the new year, Easter, and Whitsuntide. This is his third solo recording and is a testament to his consummate ability to stand alone as a singer and one of the best concertina players in the country. His obvious grasp, clear insight, and love, of the musical genre is simply a joy to behold. Many of the songs are Derbyshire based and display the pride that Keith has in being a Derbyshire mon.. He has always harboured a love of the ecclesiastical sounds and textures of carols and hymns and this is apparent in his choice of material for this album. 

The Musicians:

Anahata - Cello
Alan (Multi) Squires - Banjo, Tuba
Keith Holloway - Melodeon
Keith Kendrick - English & Anglo concertinas, Percussion
Lizzi Stephens - Piano
Mary Humphries - Piano
Ralph Jordan - McCann Duet Concertina, Guitar, Bouzouki
Sue (Twaggers) Evans - Hammered Dulcimer



Keith Kendrick has a long and well documented history of presenting English folk music in most of its forms over the last 38 years: live, on radio and television, and on record. He was a founder member and prime contributor to The Druids (Late 60s/early 70s), Rams Bottom Band (early 70s/late 80s) and a member of the late lamented Muckram Wakes. In recent years, Keith has returned to Derbyshire and established a highly popular harmony duo with Lynne Heraud and also currently sings in an ever more popular shanty trio with Geoff Higginbottom and Derek Gifford (Three Sheets to the Wind!)

 

 

1. The Ploughshare (Copper Family)

The Ideal song to encompass the overall seasonal progress and to navigate us through the calendar year from an agricultural standpoint. From the one and only singing Copper Family of Rottingdean, Sussex.

2. Nowell, Nowell (Traditional)

From one of the Maud Karpeles edited Sharp collections The Crystal Spring, this version originating from Cornwall which I suspect might explain the spelling of the title here!

3. Bring Im On (Tams)

John Tams, for me, has been the most relevant, important and consistent contributor of new English music and song material to the folk world, and beyond, throughout the revival and is still relatively under sung for all that! A valued old buddy, heres his mammoth new take on the Calling on theme of the old guisers with a distinct Derbyshire feel. Who (if they werent told) would ever consider this might not be a traditional song? and a good one to boot!

4. The Ashbourne Wassail (Words traditional/Tune K. Kendrick)

OK so I cheated! This is a selection of verses from the Oxford Book of Carols using my own melody and extended chorus. Call it the living tradition!

5. The Great Derby Footrace (Words - Traditional/Tune - Cater)

This is largely the work of two great men Roy Harris, who found the words in an old Derbyshire folksong collection by Jewitt and re-fashioned them slightly, and Colin Cater who added the new melody much later. A fortuitous (if unwitting) collaboration serving to preserve a vivid account of this important old Derby athletics tradition. The event was held for many years on Sinfin Moor providing much needed respite for the hard-working locals from the long, cold, holidayless period between Christmas and Easter - known as The Low Season. Interestingly, Sinfin Moor was for centurys known locally as the The Bog and was always considered totally unfit for building on. Needless to say it is now a very large housing estate!

6. The Moon Shines Bright (Traditional)

Another example of the artificial date re-location of calendar customs borne out of (one presumes) the Churchs not so subtle attempts to bury paganism - how else would an Easter carol conclude with a wish for a Happy New Year? This song has been with me since my early singing days with Barry Coope (1974?) when we found it, yet again, in the Karpeles Crystal Spring (From a performance by Prudence Hardy of Ilmington). Barry and I sang it together as a duo and later with Rams Bottom Band as a six-part arrangement.

7. Derwent May Carol (Words Traditional/Tune - Kendrick)

Yes here I go again - trying to put Derbyshire on the map! Bedfordshire text, my tune.

8. Whitsuntide Carol (Copper Family)

A scary but great song, and kind of humorous - again from the Coppers Song Book - promoting the old fallacy that the only motivation to be good in our lifetime lies in the belief that we go somewhere nice when we die as a reward! Topped off with a nice bit of Royalist claptrap at the end!

9. The Scarecrow (Graeme Miles)

Great poetry - fantastic imagery and the eeriest melody youve ever heard! I was inspired to sing this song after hearing a matchless performance of it by Robin Dale (a close friend and associate of the writer) at Darlington Folk Club. Two stouter chaps there never were my thanks to you both!

10. The Nutley Waltz (Traditional) / Dougs Maggot (Kendrick)

To signify the midsummer dance and a salute to two more great men: Scan Tester who inspired many a young anglo concertina

player throughout his lifetime and well beyond (myself included) and the long suffering Doug Bailey (mine audio/technical host) whom I thought deserved to have a tune named after him whether he liked it or not! (thanks Keith: though I am not sure about the maggot, Doug)

11. The Grey Cock and the Lovers Ghost (Traditional)

Midsummer was always a very popular time for ghostly visitations and still is apparently..This is a very shortened version of the original ballad but it has the best tune ever. Ill never forget Jos delivery of this when we were touring nothing short of stunning!

12. The Harvest Supper Song Words (Trad) Tune (Kendrick)

Cant have a seasonal collection without a Harvest song eh? Ere yare then!

13. Norfolk (Traditional) / The Gasp Reel (Huddy Leadbeater)

And now Ladies and GentlemenThe Harvest Dance!?

14. Beautiful Dale (Traditional)

The inspiration for this setting is down to Will Noble (The Holme Valley Nightingale) and his many exemplary performances of this wonderful song.

15. Hark, Hark What News? (Traditional)

Dedicated to the people of Dungworth nr Sheffield (To whom I sincerely doff my cap!) who have sung many alternative carols like these on Sunday lunchtimes during the six week run up to Christmas in the Royal Hotel every year for centuries! They still do it today and long may it be so.

 

The Ploughshare
See description section for notes
Sample not available
Nowell
Sample not available
Bring ‘Im On
See description section for notes
Sample not available
The Ashbourne Wassail
See description section for notes
Sample not available
The Great Derby Footrace
See description section for notes
Sample not available
The Moon Shines Bright
See description section for notes
Sample not available
Derwent May Carol
See description section for notes
Sample not available
Whitsuntide Carol
See description section for notes
Sample not available
The Scarecrow
See description section for notes
Sample not available
The Nutley Waltz / Doug’s Maggot
See description section for notes
Sample not available
The Grey Cock and the Lover’s Ghost
See description section for notes
Sample not available
The Harvest Supper Song Words
See description section for notes
Sample not available
Norfolk / The Gasp Reel
See description section for notes
Sample not available
Beautiful Dale
See description section for notes
Sample not available
Hark
Sample not available

Thefolkmag

Bob Taberner

The first track on this CD is the Copper Family song The Ploughshare, also known as The Seasons Round. Its a good choice because the song, which takes the listener through the events of the farming year, sets the scene for a superb record that brings together songs from each season of the year. Keiths experience of nearly 40 years of singing folk songs is brought to bear on this project which had its origin in a collaboration with Jo Freya about five years ago. Hes helped out by an extensive collection of singers and musicians, some of whom also record on the Wild Goose label but most of them there because of the respect they have for Keith. And his own accompaniments on English and Anglo concertinas are both skilful and tasteful.

Theres a distinct Derbyshire flavour to the songs, with The Great Derby Footrace (a Roy Harris / Colin Cater collaboration) outstanding amongst the traditional items. Other Derbyshire elements are a John Tams song Bring Im On and a homage to the late Tufty Swift in the form of Gaspe Reel, a tune popularised by the much admired one-row melodeon player. Venturing over the border into South Yorkshire, Keith tackles a couple of items from the Sheffield carol repertoire. Beautiful Dale isnt a carol, but its sung in the carol sessions and Keith names the fine performances by Will Noble as his inspiration. Hark Hark What News? is though and Keith and friends evoke a Yorkshire bar-room packed with carollers in the lead-up to Christmas.

The rest of the tracks maintain the same high standard with a stunning song The Scarecrow from Graeme Miles and a further item from the Copper Family Whitsuntide Carol worthy of mention. Oh, and that name Kendrick keeps cropping up in the credits.

Well worth buying.

Tykes news

Alan Wood

Songs and tunes which reflect the turning of the seasons and the passing of the ritual calendar.

Keith Kendrick seems to be on a mission to encourage inclusion.  Hearty stuff this;  no messing about.

Take a good interesting chorus song, make sure the tune is right, give it a strong chordal pattern,

surround yourself with some of the best musicians and singers from the fringe and take no prisoners.

This CD is a collection of seasonal songs, mostly traditional, some hymns, some old favourites, and

some unfamiliar items that should be standards.  The message seems to be listen to this, and if you

like it, then have a go and sing it.  The lad could get on 'Songs of Praise'  with this and did you ever really

believe all that rubbish about the Devil having all the best tunes?

Highlights are 'The Derby Footrace' set to Colin Cater's tune, and 'Bring 'Im On' by John Tams.  The

Copper Family are represented with 'The Ploughshare' and the ' Whitsuntide Carol' � and 'The Scarecrow'

by Graeme Miles is challenging.

I rated Keith's collaboration with Lynne Heraud, 'Stars In My Crown' (WGS 303 CD) as one of my records

of 2003.  The Thematic approach to this collection does, however, create a boundary with the material

and I would look forward to a future recording with the same high standard of production, of songs from

a wider Kendrick repertoire.  The hymns are the hard ones for me but then Sunday School did me no good

at all.

Keith is a powerful singer and excellent concertina player and is certainly out of the top drawer.  It is good

to hear these new recordings.  There's always plenty to learn and lift into the pillage bag from a Kendrick recording.

No harm in that surely.


Dai Woosnam

Dai Woosnam

Keith hails from Derbyshire in the East Midlands of England, and has been around the UK folk scene for several decades now. To say he has �been around� is rather damning with faint praise: for the truth is he is something of a singer's singer. But, in another sense the �been around� phrase is wholly apposite: for the fact is that he has never quite achieved the Carthy/Garbutt/Gaughan stardom he deserves�despite various incarnations and pairings.

And here we have something of a �This Is Your Life� album: he is joined by some celebrated ex-colleagues. They are mostly stalwarts of the British folk scene, and some splendid ensemble singing ensures that just about every chorus catches fire!

The liner notes  in keeping with the high standards set in this department by WildGoose Records  more than pass muster, but I could have done with initials of who exactly is singing on each track�instead of just the overall list of personnel. That said though, admittedly I could usually tell. However, for a non-Brit buying this album a continent or two away, it would probably be a puzzle.

The voice is as English and as sturdy as a five-bar gate. Had Hitler crossed the great North Sea in 1940, we would not have needed any marching songs to repel him: it strikes me that the Keith Kendrick solo voice - so redolent of the BACKBONE of old Albion - booming out from Dover Castle would have been enough to make Mr. Schicklgruber think twice!

But it is not all FORTISSIMO. Kendrick is capable of tenderness and surprising lightness of touch: a really intelligent and insightful approach to the lyric of the traditional �The Grey Cock and the Lover's Ghost� is proof of such.

His talents also run to composition: the tune he has written to the traditional words of �Derwent May Carol� seems inventive and non-derivative. And his concertina playing is exemplary: as someone who struggled in vain with the instrument for the best part of a year, there is nothing I enjoy more than some fine co

Dirty Linen

LDP

Concertina lovers rejoice. Keith Kendrick has issued a well?seasoned batch of tunes that mark the passing of days in this collection, appropriately titled Well Seasoned. Kendrick plays both Anglo and English concertina. His is a hearty voice that supplies the main vocals. Its a powerful, expressive instrument, whether backed with an array of acoustic instruments or unadorned. Material includes wellchosen traditional English folk tunes, plus a few originals, marking various seasons from spring to midsummer and finally to Christmas. There are a lot of really interesting tunes, but standouts include the boisterous carol 'Nowell, Nowell'; The Scarecrow, an a cappella epic; and the lively instrumental set of 'The Nutley Waltz' and 'Dougs Maggot'.

Well worth finding.


EDS

Ian Spafford

This aptly named cd transports us through a year, beginning and ending at Christmas, via 13 songs and 2 tune sets featuring Keiths inimitable voice and concertina playing ? both Anglo and English ? with excellent support from a distinguished cast of musicians and singers ? Graeme Knights, Johnny Collins, Lynne Heraud, Mick Ryan, Anahata (cello), Keith Holloway (melodeon), Paul Sartin (piano), Ralph Jordan (duet concertina, guitar, bouzouki) and Sue Evans (hammered dulcimer) to name but a few. Besides drawing on a variety of wellrespected sources ? The Copper Family, the Maud Karpeles edited Sharp Collection The Crystal Spring, The South Yorkshire Carol Tradition ? Keith also uses contemporary material by John Tams and Graeme Miles as well as setting three sets of lyrics to music and including one tune, Dougs Maggot, of his own.

The Ploughshare (The Seasons Round) ? just voice and concertina ? is the Copper Familys tour through the agricultural year, and sets the mood for the whole cd. The acapella Bring Im On is John Tams take on the Calling on theme of the old guisers, very traditional in concept, right down to the chorus harmonies, as is The Ashbourne Wassail, Keiths setting of a selection of verses from the Oxford Book of Carols.

Keiths penchant for songs with a strong narrative line set to a catchy tune is evidenced by The Great Derby Footrace and The Grey Cock and the Lovers Ghost, both employing just voice and concertina ? the latter a particularly telling, very sparse, arrangement which allows us to concentrate on the powerful lyric until the end, when a plain restatement of the tune gives us a suitable chance to reflect upon the ghostly visitation.

Theres not a duff track on this cd, but of the rest I especially enjoyed The Scarecrow, Graeme Miles bleak view of the farmers friend (by no means the first nor, I suspect, the last), the tune set Norfolk/ The Gaspe Reel ? always a joy to hear a bit of Leadbelly ? and the final carol Hark, Hark What News, which

Folk News Kernow

CWR

From Derbyshire, Keiths fine strong voice has been heard since the late 60s; over the years since then hes always been on the folk scene, in many groups and pairings. On these two cds Keith revels in the English traditional songs he loves. He plays guitar and concertina and surrounds himself with some great singers and musicians. The later of these recordings finds Keith working through the year with a refreshing selection of unhackneyed pieces, some put to his own tunes. It ends with the grand Hark Hark What News from Dungworth near Sheffield. The Home Ground cd sees Keith cherry?picking some of the very best traditional songs around and giving them in unusual versions, or with his own tunes. The two cds showcase a remarkable talent and will certainly extend your repertoire of songs. As he himself says Dont just play `em on the cd player; go out and sing `em.

fRoots

David Kidman

Founder member of The Druids and the Rams Bottom Band and erstwhile member of Muckram Wakes, Keith has in more recent years concentrated on duo work with Lynne Heraud and maritime repertoire with Three Sheets To The Wind, but its good to see that hes found time to record a new solo release (only his third) to showcase his consummate talents as both singer and concertina player. Well Seasoned presents a programme of songs and (just a few) tunes which together reflect the turning of the seasons and the passing of the ritual calendar, ostensibly inspired by The Calendar Tour which Keith and Jo Freya had taken round the folk clubs and festivals during 1998/ 99, but not completely adhering to an accepted or readily identifiable calendarial sequence.

The songs, many of which have a connection with Keiths native Derbyshire, form an enticing mix, largely traditional in origin (and as a bonus several of these are set to superb tunes of Keiths own making). Theres a few wassail songs and carols (including one from the Sheffield tradition), a ballad (The Grey Cock) and two choices from the Copper Family Songbook. The relatively few contributions from the pantheon of modern songwriters provide highlights, and include the (still surprisingly under?sung) calling?on song Bring im On (from the pen of John Tams) and Graeme Miless spectral Scarecrow (like Keith, Ive been haunted for years by Teessider Robin Dales stark and truly matchless performances of this song).

A handful of the songs are performed unaccompanied, but this poses no problem for the listener since Keiths in excellent voice and hes enlisted a mouthwatering gallery of backing singers thats a real whos who if ever I saw one (Graeme Knights, Johnny Collins, Mick Ryan, Mike Nicholson, Lynne H, Pat Turner, Mary Humphreys amongst others) and musicians (including Ralph Jordan, Keith Holloway and Anahata). Although the emphasis is firmly on the squeezebox family for instrumental accompaniment, youre unlikely to feel starved

Taplas

Mike Greenwood

YET another defining statement in Doug Baileys regular exposure of the living English tradition within his Wild Goose catalogue, Well Seasoned represents a fulfilled ambition for Derbyshires Keith Kendrick. The deservedly popular, hard?working folk club favourite offers an engaging compilation of largely traditional songs and tunes that bear the listener through a cycle of the cultural calendar.

Keiths own song accompaniment, on both anglo and English concertinas, is faultless ? never challenging the vocal for supremacy, but swelling to lift the song between lines. But his instrumental mastery is best exemplified on Scan Testers Nutley Waltz the pick from the confident instrumental medleys that punctuate the seasonal narrative.

And his vocal ? strong and hearty in itself ? enjoys occasional backing from a stalwart chorus that includes the likes of Mick Ryan, Pete Harris and Johnny Collins, while musicians of the calibre of Paul Sartin, Keith Holloway and the indefatigable Ralph Jordan spice up the orchestral arrangements.

Feb04

Living Tradition

Peter Fairbairn

I'm a fan. I'll start off by declaring interests. I'm a fan of Keith Kendrick and have been since the first time I heard his recordings.  Much as I have enjoyed his recordings on CD and Cassette I have never actually seen him.  I have almost seen him twice but�.maybe this year I'll be in the right place on the right date with the right ticket.  This latest album, ' Well Seasoned',  proves once again how good Keith Kendrick is as a musician and a singer.

The voice and songs go so well together.  The songs are robust and celebratory � songs to be heard and heard clearly.  From the tradition � The Moon Shines Bright, The Grey Cock, and Beautiful Dale; from the Copper Family  �  Whitsuntide Carol and The Ploughshare; John Tams'   Bring 'Im On  and Graeme Miles'  The Scarecrow,  some of the songs with adaptations and added tunes and settings from Keith Kendrick himself.  On the subject of tunes,  the couple of dance sets fit in well with the concertina well to the fore.

The Album is not just a solo effort, the cast of thousands include:  Mick Ryan, Pete Harris, Lynne Heraud, Ralph Jordan, Sue Evans, and Johnny Collins, who all add to the melee making this a social occasion.  Now, let's look up those festival guides.  Keith Kendrick. Where's he playing this year?


Shreds and Patches

Baz Parkes

I never cease to be amazed at someone who can master the intricacies of both Anglo concertina and

its (To my fingers anyway) somewhat trickier cousin the English.  Keith Kendrick can and does!.  Add

to that mastery a voice like a well kept pint of draught mild, and you have a talent to be reckoned with.

Throw into the equation some 30 + years work on the folk scene, including the Druids, Muckram Wakes

and one of the seminal English Dance  (And so much more) bands - Ram's Bottom, and you have some

idea of the quality of work represented on this CD.

'Well Seasoned' was born out of a show that Keith toured in the late nineties in the company of Jo Freya.

It looks at calendar customs through the year, starting and ending with Christmas time.  It's a road that's

been travelled before , and by some mighty feet; but it is to Keith's credit that none of this sounds stale

or jaded.  That's partly due to him giving well known songs a Derbyshire slant, or marrying traditional

words to his own tunes.  And, as you might expect from someone with his pedigree, to quote Eric

Morecambe, �You can't see the join!�

There's not a duff track amongst the 15 here,  with styles ranging from the full pelt chorus of  'Hark, Hark

What News' (from the Sheffield carol tradition) through to the almost parlour song treatment of Will Noble's

'Beautiful Dale', where Keith is accompanied by some lovely understated piano from Paul Sartin.  There's

a couple of lovely tune sets;  Scan Tester's 'Nutley Waltz'  coupled with Keith's own  'Doug's Maggot' (A

type of dance � rather than an insult) and the traditional 'Norfolk' played alongside the 'Gaspe` Reel'.

How nice to see this credited to Leadbelly, who used to play it on the one row, apparently.  There's a

wonderful new calling on song from John Tams  'Bring 'Im On' and a Graeme Miles song 'The Scarecrow'

which has a melody that I've not been able to get out of my head since first hearing it.  There's backing

vocals from the

Whats Afoot

Ken Hinchliffe

Keith has been on the Folk scene for nearly forty years now, being a member of  The Druids as long ago as 1968 and in all those years has remained unswervingly loyal to his cultural heritage. Having said that, I find that he is still relatively little known here in the South?West of England.

He is a robust, full voiced singer. He could well be described as a mans singer. His obvious grasp, clear insight and love of the musical genre are a joy to share. This is his third solo recording and displays once again his fine uncompromising voice with concertina accompaniment second to none.

The CD comprises songs and tunes which reflect the turning of the seasons and the passing of the ritual calendar. Songs from Sussex and Cornwall to Sheffield and Swaledale via Keiths home county of Derbyshire. All but two of the songs are traditional.

Keith begins his singing tour of England in Sussex with the Coppers version of The Ploughshare. There are other versions of this song, e.g. The Green Grass, but I feel that the one chosen here to be most suited to the singers strong voice. If there was ever a top ten of English traditional songs, this one surely would be a candidate for inclusion.

Traveling north through England the listener is treated to such delightful songs as Derbyshire May Song, The Derby Footrace, Whitsuntide CaroI and Derwent Wassail. Having lived in the area of the source of Derwent Wassail for 59 years, I would suggest, however, that the title chosen here is questionable. That apart, every song is a good un and superbly sung to boot.

The musical journey ends with a grad finale at Dungworth, a tiny village just north of Sheffield, here to be treated to an almost full choral arrangement of Hark, Hark! This is one of the four versions of the carol sung in that area

Bring im On and The Scarecrow both sound traditional but are the two contemporary songs, written by John Tams and Graeme Miles respectively. I defy anyone not to join in the chorus of Bring tin On and

Thefolkmag

Bob Taberner

The first track on this CD is the Copper Family song The Ploughshare, also known as The Seasons Round. Its a good choice because the song, which takes the listener through the events of the farming year, sets the scene for a superb record that brings together songs from each season of the year. Keiths experience of nearly 40 years of singing folk songs is brought to bear on this project which had its origin in a collaboration with Jo Freya about five years ago. Hes helped out by an extensive collection of singers and musicians, some of whom also record on the Wild Goose label but most of them there because of the respect they have for Keith. And his own accompaniments on English and Anglo concertinas are both skilful and tasteful.

Theres a distinct Derbyshire flavour to the songs, with The Great Derby Footrace (a Roy Harris / Colin Cater collaboration) outstanding amongst the traditional items. Other Derbyshire elements are a John Tams song Bring Im On and a homage to the late Tufty Swift in the form of Gaspe Reel, a tune popularised by the much admired one-row melodeon player. Venturing over the border into South Yorkshire, Keith tackles a couple of items from the Sheffield carol repertoire. Beautiful Dale isnt a carol, but its sung in the carol sessions and Keith names the fine performances by Will Noble as his inspiration. Hark Hark What News? is though and Keith and friends evoke a Yorkshire bar-room packed with carollers in the lead-up to Christmas.

The rest of the tracks maintain the same high standard with a stunning song The Scarecrow from Graeme Miles and a further item from the Copper Family Whitsuntide Carol worthy of mention. Oh, and that name Kendrick keeps cropping up in the credits.

Well worth buying.

Tykes news

Alan Wood

Songs and tunes which reflect the turning of the seasons and the passing of the ritual calendar.

Keith Kendrick seems to be on a mission to encourage inclusion.  Hearty stuff this;  no messing about.

Take a good interesting chorus song, make sure the tune is right, give it a strong chordal pattern,

surround yourself with some of the best musicians and singers from the fringe and take no prisoners.

This CD is a collection of seasonal songs, mostly traditional, some hymns, some old favourites, and

some unfamiliar items that should be standards.  The message seems to be listen to this, and if you

like it, then have a go and sing it.  The lad could get on 'Songs of Praise'  with this and did you ever really

believe all that rubbish about the Devil having all the best tunes?

Highlights are 'The Derby Footrace' set to Colin Cater's tune, and 'Bring 'Im On' by John Tams.  The

Copper Family are represented with 'The Ploughshare' and the ' Whitsuntide Carol' � and 'The Scarecrow'

by Graeme Miles is challenging.

I rated Keith's collaboration with Lynne Heraud, 'Stars In My Crown' (WGS 303 CD) as one of my records

of 2003.  The Thematic approach to this collection does, however, create a boundary with the material

and I would look forward to a future recording with the same high standard of production, of songs from

a wider Kendrick repertoire.  The hymns are the hard ones for me but then Sunday School did me no good

at all.

Keith is a powerful singer and excellent concertina player and is certainly out of the top drawer.  It is good

to hear these new recordings.  There's always plenty to learn and lift into the pillage bag from a Kendrick recording.

No harm in that surely.


Dai Woosnam

Dai Woosnam

Keith hails from Derbyshire in the East Midlands of England, and has been around the UK folk scene for several decades now. To say he has �been around� is rather damning with faint praise: for the truth is he is something of a singer's singer. But, in another sense the �been around� phrase is wholly apposite: for the fact is that he has never quite achieved the Carthy/Garbutt/Gaughan stardom he deserves�despite various incarnations and pairings.

And here we have something of a �This Is Your Life� album: he is joined by some celebrated ex-colleagues. They are mostly stalwarts of the British folk scene, and some splendid ensemble singing ensures that just about every chorus catches fire!

The liner notes  in keeping with the high standards set in this department by WildGoose Records  more than pass muster, but I could have done with initials of who exactly is singing on each track�instead of just the overall list of personnel. That said though, admittedly I could usually tell. However, for a non-Brit buying this album a continent or two away, it would probably be a puzzle.

The voice is as English and as sturdy as a five-bar gate. Had Hitler crossed the great North Sea in 1940, we would not have needed any marching songs to repel him: it strikes me that the Keith Kendrick solo voice - so redolent of the BACKBONE of old Albion - booming out from Dover Castle would have been enough to make Mr. Schicklgruber think twice!

But it is not all FORTISSIMO. Kendrick is capable of tenderness and surprising lightness of touch: a really intelligent and insightful approach to the lyric of the traditional �The Grey Cock and the Lover's Ghost� is proof of such.

His talents also run to composition: the tune he has written to the traditional words of �Derwent May Carol� seems inventive and non-derivative. And his concertina playing is exemplary: as someone who struggled in vain with the instrument for the best part of a year, there is nothing I enjoy more than some fine co

Dirty Linen

LDP

Concertina lovers rejoice. Keith Kendrick has issued a well?seasoned batch of tunes that mark the passing of days in this collection, appropriately titled Well Seasoned. Kendrick plays both Anglo and English concertina. His is a hearty voice that supplies the main vocals. Its a powerful, expressive instrument, whether backed with an array of acoustic instruments or unadorned. Material includes wellchosen traditional English folk tunes, plus a few originals, marking various seasons from spring to midsummer and finally to Christmas. There are a lot of really interesting tunes, but standouts include the boisterous carol 'Nowell, Nowell'; The Scarecrow, an a cappella epic; and the lively instrumental set of 'The Nutley Waltz' and 'Dougs Maggot'.

Well worth finding.


EDS

Ian Spafford

This aptly named cd transports us through a year, beginning and ending at Christmas, via 13 songs and 2 tune sets featuring Keiths inimitable voice and concertina playing ? both Anglo and English ? with excellent support from a distinguished cast of musicians and singers ? Graeme Knights, Johnny Collins, Lynne Heraud, Mick Ryan, Anahata (cello), Keith Holloway (melodeon), Paul Sartin (piano), Ralph Jordan (duet concertina, guitar, bouzouki) and Sue Evans (hammered dulcimer) to name but a few. Besides drawing on a variety of wellrespected sources ? The Copper Family, the Maud Karpeles edited Sharp Collection The Crystal Spring, The South Yorkshire Carol Tradition ? Keith also uses contemporary material by John Tams and Graeme Miles as well as setting three sets of lyrics to music and including one tune, Dougs Maggot, of his own.

The Ploughshare (The Seasons Round) ? just voice and concertina ? is the Copper Familys tour through the agricultural year, and sets the mood for the whole cd. The acapella Bring Im On is John Tams take on the Calling on theme of the old guisers, very traditional in concept, right down to the chorus harmonies, as is The Ashbourne Wassail, Keiths setting of a selection of verses from the Oxford Book of Carols.

Keiths penchant for songs with a strong narrative line set to a catchy tune is evidenced by The Great Derby Footrace and The Grey Cock and the Lovers Ghost, both employing just voice and concertina ? the latter a particularly telling, very sparse, arrangement which allows us to concentrate on the powerful lyric until the end, when a plain restatement of the tune gives us a suitable chance to reflect upon the ghostly visitation.

Theres not a duff track on this cd, but of the rest I especially enjoyed The Scarecrow, Graeme Miles bleak view of the farmers friend (by no means the first nor, I suspect, the last), the tune set Norfolk/ The Gaspe Reel ? always a joy to hear a bit of Leadbelly ? and the final carol Hark, Hark What News, which

Folk News Kernow

CWR

From Derbyshire, Keiths fine strong voice has been heard since the late 60s; over the years since then hes always been on the folk scene, in many groups and pairings. On these two cds Keith revels in the English traditional songs he loves. He plays guitar and concertina and surrounds himself with some great singers and musicians. The later of these recordings finds Keith working through the year with a refreshing selection of unhackneyed pieces, some put to his own tunes. It ends with the grand Hark Hark What News from Dungworth near Sheffield. The Home Ground cd sees Keith cherry?picking some of the very best traditional songs around and giving them in unusual versions, or with his own tunes. The two cds showcase a remarkable talent and will certainly extend your repertoire of songs. As he himself says Dont just play `em on the cd player; go out and sing `em.

fRoots

David Kidman

Founder member of The Druids and the Rams Bottom Band and erstwhile member of Muckram Wakes, Keith has in more recent years concentrated on duo work with Lynne Heraud and maritime repertoire with Three Sheets To The Wind, but its good to see that hes found time to record a new solo release (only his third) to showcase his consummate talents as both singer and concertina player. Well Seasoned presents a programme of songs and (just a few) tunes which together reflect the turning of the seasons and the passing of the ritual calendar, ostensibly inspired by The Calendar Tour which Keith and Jo Freya had taken round the folk clubs and festivals during 1998/ 99, but not completely adhering to an accepted or readily identifiable calendarial sequence.

The songs, many of which have a connection with Keiths native Derbyshire, form an enticing mix, largely traditional in origin (and as a bonus several of these are set to superb tunes of Keiths own making). Theres a few wassail songs and carols (including one from the Sheffield tradition), a ballad (The Grey Cock) and two choices from the Copper Family Songbook. The relatively few contributions from the pantheon of modern songwriters provide highlights, and include the (still surprisingly under?sung) calling?on song Bring im On (from the pen of John Tams) and Graeme Miless spectral Scarecrow (like Keith, Ive been haunted for years by Teessider Robin Dales stark and truly matchless performances of this song).

A handful of the songs are performed unaccompanied, but this poses no problem for the listener since Keiths in excellent voice and hes enlisted a mouthwatering gallery of backing singers thats a real whos who if ever I saw one (Graeme Knights, Johnny Collins, Mick Ryan, Mike Nicholson, Lynne H, Pat Turner, Mary Humphreys amongst others) and musicians (including Ralph Jordan, Keith Holloway and Anahata). Although the emphasis is firmly on the squeezebox family for instrumental accompaniment, youre unlikely to feel starved

Taplas

Mike Greenwood

YET another defining statement in Doug Baileys regular exposure of the living English tradition within his Wild Goose catalogue, Well Seasoned represents a fulfilled ambition for Derbyshires Keith Kendrick. The deservedly popular, hard?working folk club favourite offers an engaging compilation of largely traditional songs and tunes that bear the listener through a cycle of the cultural calendar.

Keiths own song accompaniment, on both anglo and English concertinas, is faultless ? never challenging the vocal for supremacy, but swelling to lift the song between lines. But his instrumental mastery is best exemplified on Scan Testers Nutley Waltz the pick from the confident instrumental medleys that punctuate the seasonal narrative.

And his vocal ? strong and hearty in itself ? enjoys occasional backing from a stalwart chorus that includes the likes of Mick Ryan, Pete Harris and Johnny Collins, while musicians of the calibre of Paul Sartin, Keith Holloway and the indefatigable Ralph Jordan spice up the orchestral arrangements.

Feb04

Living Tradition

Peter Fairbairn

I'm a fan. I'll start off by declaring interests. I'm a fan of Keith Kendrick and have been since the first time I heard his recordings.  Much as I have enjoyed his recordings on CD and Cassette I have never actually seen him.  I have almost seen him twice but�.maybe this year I'll be in the right place on the right date with the right ticket.  This latest album, ' Well Seasoned',  proves once again how good Keith Kendrick is as a musician and a singer.

The voice and songs go so well together.  The songs are robust and celebratory � songs to be heard and heard clearly.  From the tradition � The Moon Shines Bright, The Grey Cock, and Beautiful Dale; from the Copper Family  �  Whitsuntide Carol and The Ploughshare; John Tams'   Bring 'Im On  and Graeme Miles'  The Scarecrow,  some of the songs with adaptations and added tunes and settings from Keith Kendrick himself.  On the subject of tunes,  the couple of dance sets fit in well with the concertina well to the fore.

The Album is not just a solo effort, the cast of thousands include:  Mick Ryan, Pete Harris, Lynne Heraud, Ralph Jordan, Sue Evans, and Johnny Collins, who all add to the melee making this a social occasion.  Now, let's look up those festival guides.  Keith Kendrick. Where's he playing this year?


Shreds and Patches

Baz Parkes

I never cease to be amazed at someone who can master the intricacies of both Anglo concertina and

its (To my fingers anyway) somewhat trickier cousin the English.  Keith Kendrick can and does!.  Add

to that mastery a voice like a well kept pint of draught mild, and you have a talent to be reckoned with.

Throw into the equation some 30 + years work on the folk scene, including the Druids, Muckram Wakes

and one of the seminal English Dance  (And so much more) bands - Ram's Bottom, and you have some

idea of the quality of work represented on this CD.

'Well Seasoned' was born out of a show that Keith toured in the late nineties in the company of Jo Freya.

It looks at calendar customs through the year, starting and ending with Christmas time.  It's a road that's

been travelled before , and by some mighty feet; but it is to Keith's credit that none of this sounds stale

or jaded.  That's partly due to him giving well known songs a Derbyshire slant, or marrying traditional

words to his own tunes.  And, as you might expect from someone with his pedigree, to quote Eric

Morecambe, �You can't see the join!�

There's not a duff track amongst the 15 here,  with styles ranging from the full pelt chorus of  'Hark, Hark

What News' (from the Sheffield carol tradition) through to the almost parlour song treatment of Will Noble's

'Beautiful Dale', where Keith is accompanied by some lovely understated piano from Paul Sartin.  There's

a couple of lovely tune sets;  Scan Tester's 'Nutley Waltz'  coupled with Keith's own  'Doug's Maggot' (A

type of dance � rather than an insult) and the traditional 'Norfolk' played alongside the 'Gaspe` Reel'.

How nice to see this credited to Leadbelly, who used to play it on the one row, apparently.  There's a

wonderful new calling on song from John Tams  'Bring 'Im On' and a Graeme Miles song 'The Scarecrow'

which has a melody that I've not been able to get out of my head since first hearing it.  There's backing

vocals from the

Whats Afoot

Ken Hinchliffe

Keith has been on the Folk scene for nearly forty years now, being a member of  The Druids as long ago as 1968 and in all those years has remained unswervingly loyal to his cultural heritage. Having said that, I find that he is still relatively little known here in the South?West of England.

He is a robust, full voiced singer. He could well be described as a mans singer. His obvious grasp, clear insight and love of the musical genre are a joy to share. This is his third solo recording and displays once again his fine uncompromising voice with concertina accompaniment second to none.

The CD comprises songs and tunes which reflect the turning of the seasons and the passing of the ritual calendar. Songs from Sussex and Cornwall to Sheffield and Swaledale via Keiths home county of Derbyshire. All but two of the songs are traditional.

Keith begins his singing tour of England in Sussex with the Coppers version of The Ploughshare. There are other versions of this song, e.g. The Green Grass, but I feel that the one chosen here to be most suited to the singers strong voice. If there was ever a top ten of English traditional songs, this one surely would be a candidate for inclusion.

Traveling north through England the listener is treated to such delightful songs as Derbyshire May Song, The Derby Footrace, Whitsuntide CaroI and Derwent Wassail. Having lived in the area of the source of Derwent Wassail for 59 years, I would suggest, however, that the title chosen here is questionable. That apart, every song is a good un and superbly sung to boot.

The musical journey ends with a grad finale at Dungworth, a tiny village just north of Sheffield, here to be treated to an almost full choral arrangement of Hark, Hark! This is one of the four versions of the carol sung in that area

Bring im On and The Scarecrow both sound traditional but are the two contemporary songs, written by John Tams and Graeme Miles respectively. I defy anyone not to join in the chorus of Bring tin On and