Something to Show

by Mick Ryan & Pete Harris

A mix of traditional songs & Mick Ryans own compositions sung by one of the best traditional singers in the country. Pete Harris provides vocal harmonies and rich instrumental accompaniments on guitar, mandola, bouzouki, whistles and bass guitar. Guest musicians include Tim van Eyken on melodeon, Paul Sartin on oboe and Paul Burgess on fiddle.



SOMETHING TO SHOW - is the 5th and latest album from Mick and Pete. It contains a mix of traditional songs, some of Micks own compositions and one song by Graham Moore. Mick is widely accepted as one of the best traditional singers in the country and as you would expect, Pete Harris provides vocal harmonies (plus one solo song) and uses his great talent to provide a rich set of accompaniments on: guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, mandola, whistles and electric bass. However, even Pete cannot play everything and this time they have been joined by guests: Paul Burgess on fiddle, Paul Sartin on oboe,& Tim van Eyken on Melodeon. As you may guess, this makes for a varied and striking sound which provides a wonderful backdrop to the songs.

The Ballad Seller
Sample not available
The Queen of the May
Sample not available
Sons of the Land
Sample not available
Farewell My Dearest Dear
Sample not available
Jack Went A-Sailing
Sample not available
The Grey Hawk
Sample not available
King Kaley
Sample not available
Work
Whens It Gonna Stop?
Sample not available
Something To Show
Sample not available
Faithless Sally Brown
Sample not available
The Last of England
Sample not available
Two Brethren
Sample not available
The Prince of Peace
Sample not available
The Eighteenth of June
Sample not available

Thefolkmag

Bob Taberner

Mick Ryan seems to write an endless supply of quality songs that fit well alongside traditional songs as they do here. Micks own songs come from a variety of sources - his shows such as A Days Work which provides two songs Sons of the Land and The Prince of Peace, TV documentaries as in the case of the title track and books of broadsides and folk tales. The ballad King Kaley is the result of the latter source. None of these songs sounds out of place next to the traditional material, even when Mick has chosen such fine songs as Farewell My Dearest Dear and The Eighteenth of June.

Pete Harris is one of the best accompanists of folk songs around with a sympathetic feeling for the song that means that his technical ability always supports and never overshadows the singer. He can sing well, too, as in his solo The Grey Hawk, and his harmony singing complements Micks excellent voice.

Dai Woosnam

Dai Woosnam

Just typing out the names of the two artistes, got me thinking of Lennon & McCartney. (Eh? Surely I am not suggesting that the Mersey Beat has now a Wessex Beat equivalent? Indeed I am not.)

No, I think of those two illustrious names only insofar as I am reminded of the recent point  attributed rightly or wrongly to Heather Mills-McCartney  that some of the songs should be shown as �McCartney & Lennon�, in order to illustrate that Sir Paul had made the greater contribution in the writing of that particular song.

And the thought occurred to me that maybe the next Ryan & Harris album should bear their names in reverse. Not that there is any doubt that Mick is the driving force behind their albums, but it would at least give Pete his proper alphabetic precedence, and just this once it would be no more than he deserves. For �Harris & Ryan� would formally acknowledge the vital role he plays in arranging traditional ballads, and indeed many of Mick's songs. And it would testify to the importance of his dazzling talent as a multi-instrumentalist and his pitch perfect vocal harmonies.    

Without him, Mick would struggle to get a replacement of the same quality: indeed, I doubt if he would ever find a partner whose voice harmonises with his quite so effectively.

If Pete was to leave him, Mick would soon know how Captain Scott felt when Oates and the whisky ran out.

And my mentioning Lennon & McCartney makes me think that there is another parallel: the Beatles never presented us with a bad (or even indifferent) album: and neither have these guys. This is their fifth CD together, and every bit as good as anything in their back catalogue.

I like most of the stuff a lot. The sound is gloriously full: not least because the guys are joined on this album by Paul Burgess on fiddle, Paul Sartin on oboe, and Tim van Eyken on melodeon. (Yes, even Pete cannot play everything!)

The stirring opening track �The Ballad Seller� sets out their stall: straight away the newc

David Kidman

David Kidman

For their follow-up to The Long Road, Mick and Pete present another enticing mixture of traditional songs and original compositions - the latter largely by Mick himself. And as usual, the songs present exactly the mix of repertoire youd expect to hear at the quality end of the English folk club circuit, and are delivered in the customary accomplished manner weve come to expect from this pairing. Ive already sung Micks praises (as it were) on this site - hes quite simply one of the finest singers on the folk scene, possessing one of the most accomplished, enthralling and involving baritone voices I know; hes one of the most versatile too, being able to communicate a songs message equally effectively and directly on deeply serious and altogether lighter material. Pete not only delivers some fine vocal harmonies but also provides the perfect instrumental foil for Micks voice with his expert and stylish playing (guitar, bouzouki, whistle, mandolin, mandola, bass, percussion - suitably multitracked where necessary, but never unduly cluttering the texture); the skills of Paul Burgess (fiddle), Paul Sartin (oboe) and Tim Van Eyken (melodeon) are also used sparingly throughout the CD. The CDs title track provides the albums emotional core; inspired by a 1980s TV documentary, its a poignant personal reflection from the perspective of one of the young Irish labourers digging the new tunnels for Londons Jubilee line tube. Its bookended by Micks setting of the Thomas Hood poem Faithless Sally Brown and the pattersome piece of homespun Essex pub philosophy Work, Work, Whens It Gonna Stop? Another standout track is The Last Of England, which Graham Moore wrote for his folk opera of that name; based on a Ford Madox Brown painting, it concerns a young emigrant couple looking wistfully back from their ship to their homeland. Elsewhere Mick demonstrates his knack for reinterpreting English ballad tales (with the Hammer horror creation of King Kaley, one of four tracks which are perfo

EDS

Jennifer Stapleton

This CD is dedicated to the memory of John Prince, (a great gentleman and friend.)

Mick Ryan and Pete Harris fans will not be disappointed with this addition to the collection of CDs by this very talented pair, who on this occasion are supported by no less than Paul Burgess, Paul Sartin and Tim Van Eyken.

There are 14 tracks in total, 6 with words and music written by Mick Ryan, 6 traditional with arrangements by Mick and Pete, 1 by Graham Moore and 1 by Thomas Hood. 3 of the tracks are from well known folk musicals, The Last of England by Graham Moore, and Sons of the Land and The Prince of Peace from Mick Ryans A Days Work. All the tracks are eminently singable as would be expected with this duo. It only takes one listening to be joining in with great enthusiasm, as if the songs were old friends, as indeed some are. Mick and Petes voices blend so well together and their choice of key and pitch means everyone can find a slot to join in somewhere. I especially like Micks version of the Copper family song The Two Brethren. The sleeve notes give enough information and source of songs for anyone wishing to do further research.

A good CD to have in the car for those long journeys to festivals.

Folk London

Felicity Greenland

Something to Show ? by Mick Ryan & Pete Harris Wild Goose WGS318CD www.properuk.com This 5th album has both trad songs and the self?penned trad?feel songs for which Mick is known (including The Prince of Peace which I always thought was a Sheffield carol) and guest contributions from Paul Sartin (oboe), Tim Van Eyken (box), and Paul Burgess (fiddle). The title track is as touching as the sleeve notes suggest, on the single picture on a bleak bedsit wall. Farewell My Dearest Dear (trad) forms an anthem after the a cappella (and surprisingly not trad (yet)) Sons of the Land. Other favourites: King Kaley (Micks own ballad of an evil lover on the long white road) and Faithless Sally Brown (a cappella). More not?surprisingly excellent songmanship from these solid musical partners.


Folk Monthly

Ken Leftwich

An excellent collection of traditional or new traditionally?based songs with the powerful singing of Mick Ryan and the harmonies and acoompaniments of Pete Harris; many of which will have you singing along. Half of the songs are originals by Mick Ryan, the strongest being `King Kaley a dark, mystical ballad contrasting with his lighter composition `Work, Work, Whens It Gonna Stop There are first?class harmonies and instrumental work on the disturbing `Eighteenth of June and the Copper Familys `Two Brethren; while there is fine unaccompanied singing on `Faithless Sally Brown. This is a worthy addition to the collection of anyone who likes their traditional music neat or with a rich instrumental backing.

Folk Northtwest

Derek Gifford

I'm not even going to attempt to review the performances on this CD because, if you have heard or seen Mick and Pete, you'll know that their music  positively oozes with skill and professionalism; so it's straight to the material.

This CD comprises a thoughtful mix of traditional songs and Mick's own compositions written in traditional style. We start off with one of Mick's songs called 'The Ballad Seller' inspired by a piece of prose in a collection of broadsheet ballads. Next it's the traditional 'Queen of the May' a tune written and guitar accompaniment nicely arranged by Ian Palmer.

Other traditional songs include 'Farewell My Dearest Dear', 'Jack Went A-Sailing', 'Two Brethren', 'The Eighteenth of June', which has an added verse, and 'The Grey Hawk' the latter of which I liked particularly partly because it is a good song seldom performed.

Mick's other own compositions include 'Sons of the Land' and 'Prince of Peace' both from his show 'A Day's Work' about Hampshire farm labourers in the Great War.

'King Kaley' however was inspired by a folk tale and is described by Mick as a �bit of a 'Hammer Horror' ballad�! Blood and gore everywhere in this one!

The other two songs by Mick are the up tempo music hall style 'Work, Work, When's It Gonna Stop?' and the title track 'Something to Show' which is not actually, in my humble opinion, the strongest song on the album.

To make up the fourteen songs presented there's a fine song from Graham Moore's folk opera of the same name called 'The Last of England' about, not surprisingly, emigrants and 'Faithless Sally Brown' (shame on her!) with words from a poem by Thomas Hood and Mick's tune and chorus which is sung unaccompanied and therefore sounding more traditional than a truly traditional song!

Mick and Pete are joined on a few tracks by Wild Goose 'regulars' Paul Burgess (fiddle), Paul Sartin (oboe) and Tim Van Eyken (melodeon). As always the package is well presented with sleeve notes on the songs and near perfect

fRoots

David Kidman

For their fifth duo album, Mick and Pete present another enticing mixture of traditional songs and original compositions?the latter largely by Mick. As usual, the songs present exactly the mix of repertoire youd expect to hear at the quality end of the English folk club circuit, and are delivered in the customary accomplished manner weve come to expect from this pairing. Mick possesses the enviable ability to totally involve the listener in his singing, and his impressive breath control and use of vocal shading are distinctive features, whether hes tackling deeply serious or altogether lighter material. Pete not only delivers some fine vocal harmonies but also provides the perfect instrumental foil for Micks voice, with his expert and stylish playing (guitar, bouzouki, whistle, mandolin, mandola, bass, percussion?suitably multi?tracked where necessary, but never unduly cluttering the texture); the skills of Paul Burgess, Paul Sartin and Tim Van Eyken are also used sparingly.

The CDs title track provides the albums emotional core: a poignant reflection from the perspective of one of the young Irish labourers digging a new London tube tunnel. Another standout track is The Last Of England, which Graham Moore wrote for his folk opera of that name. Elsewhere Mick demonstrates his knack for reinterpreting English ballad tales (with the Hammer horror creation of King Kaley, one of four unaccompanied tracks) and his unerring ability to pick worthy but less often essayed traditional songs to sing. The best of these is probably The Two Brethren, which comes from the singing of The Copper Family. Its neatly counterpointed by Micks own Sons Of The Land, one of two songs here which the duo have re?recorded for this CD (like the stirring anthem The Prince Of Peace, it originates from Micks earlier folk musical A Days Work, which remains obstinately unavailable on CD). The album may spring no surprises in the sense that Mick and Pete continue to give their all in a professionally

Living Tradition

E. Bradtke

Since teaming up in 1993, Mick Ryan and Pete Harris have appeared at folk clubs and festivals around England and recorded several albums. This, their sixth, includes the usual mix of Ryan originals, traditional songs, and a few contributions from others. Their music has an English flavour, eloquently expressed by Ryans liquid voice and backed by Pete Harris the one?man?band (guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, mandola, banjo, bass and whistle as well as harmony vocals). Theyre joined on this outing by Paul Burgess (Old Swan Band): fiddle; Paul Sartin (Dr. Faustus, ex?Belshazzars Feast) oboe and Tim Van Eyken (Dr. Faustus, Waterson/ Carthy) melodeon.

It would be hard to go wrong with personnel like that. From the opening strains of the Ballad Seller (with The Maid Behind the Bar as an instrumental break) to a lament for the fallen at Waterloo, The Eighteenth of June, its a well balanced and well?performed collection. Ryan and Harris cover a wide range of material. The black comedy of Work, Work, Whens It Gonna Stop? would sound at home in the Music Hall. The Prince of Peace, a stirring anthem full of West Gallery style harmonies comes from Ryans show A Days Work. Ryans songs sound so traditional because theyre based on traditional themes or fragments of old songs, tales and poetry. One of these is the gruesome King Kaley. Spooky and full of gore, this unaccompanied song will send shivers down your spine. But by the second or third listening youll catch yourself singing along. A highly enjoyable recording.


Netrythms

Neil Pearson

For their follow-up to The Long Road, Mick and Pete present another enticing mixture of traditional songs and original compositions - the latter largely by Mick himself. And as usual, the songs present exactly the mix of repertoire youd expect to hear at the quality end of the English folk club circuit, and are delivered in the customary accomplished manner weve come to expect from this pairing. Ive already sung Micks praises (as it were) on this site - hes quite simply one of the finest singers on the folk scene, possessing one of the most accomplished, enthralling and involving baritone voices I know; hes one of the most versatile too, being able to communicate a songs message equally effectively and directly on deeply serious and altogether lighter material. Pete not only delivers some fine vocal harmonies but also provides the perfect instrumental foil for Micks voice with his expert and stylish playing (guitar, bouzouki, whistle, mandolin, mandola, bass, percussion - suitably multitracked where necessary, but never unduly cluttering the texture); the skills of Paul Burgess (fiddle), Paul Sartin (oboe) and Tim Van Eyken (melodeon) are also used sparingly throughout the CD. The CDs title track provides the albums emotional core; inspired by a 1980s TV documentary, its a poignant personal reflection from the perspective of one of the young Irish labourers digging the new tunnels for Londons Jubilee line tube. Its bookended by Micks setting of the Thomas Hood poem Faithless Sally Brown and the pattersome piece of homespun Essex pub philosophy Work, Work, Whens It Gonna Stop? Another standout track is The Last Of England, which Graham Moore wrote for his folk opera of that name; based on a Ford Madox Brown painting, it concerns a young emigrant couple looking wistfully back from their ship to their homeland. Elsewhere Mick demonstrates his knack for reinterpreting English ballad tales (with the Hammer horror creation of King Kaley, one of four tracks which are perfo

Shreds and Patches

Chris (Yorkie)Bartram

The term folk song has been used to describe a very wide variety of songs and these various uses of the term all have their own agendas. Some talk of songs of the people; others songs of the past. There are songs to educate; some to preserve traditional stories; other inspire nostalgia or protest. They can be universal or intensely personal. Well, this CD just about covers the lot!

Here are some wonderful traditional songs (including Farewell, My Dearest Dear which is also on Steve Jordans CD reviewed elsewhere in this mag ? and will be on my own CD when I eventually complete it. I heard Annie Dearman sing it recently. Why has this song suddenly come into fashion again? Perhaps just because its a great song!) Theres also The Grey Hawk and Two Brethren plus quite a few of Micks own songs. (You can find the full tracklist at wwwwildgoose.co.uk). And heres that nice Paul Sartin again (This time on oboe. See the review of Steve Jordan.) ?plus Paul Burgess and Tim van Eyken. 14 tracks covering, as I said at the beginning, a lot of ground. Lively songs; sad songs; angry songs; thoughtful songs; scary songs. I just want to mention a couple of my own favourites. The opening track, The Ballad Seller is one of Mick Ryans most traditional?sounding compositions. Excellent. Another of his compositions, King Kaley, has one of the best openings I have

ever heard and develops into a classic horror story.

The singing is ? as we have come to expect from Mick Ryan ? utterly superb. The accompaniments and harmony vocals are as we have come to expect from Pete Harris totally splendid. The recording quality is ? as we have come to expect from Doug Bailey absolutely top?notch. What are you waiting for? Get it now!


Taplas

Roy Harris

Wild Goose WGS 318 CD (62m) . WildGoose Records add to their recent string of winners with this impressive effort. The velvet?voiced Ryan has long been one of my favourite singers and the reasons why are all on display here. He has a wonderfully rich quality to his voice and he deploys it with tone and range equal to any in the folk revival today. He gains fine assistance from musical partner Pete Harris, a multi?instrumentalist, and then some, ten instruments credited here, plus vocal. The bulk of the songs are `words & music Mick Ryan, along with, a setting of Thomas Hoods Faithless Sally Brown and a few trads, all of them performed with feeling and skill. Ryans long acquaintance with traditional song informs his own compositions in a way that genuinely pleases. Hats off too to guest musicians Paul Burgess, Paul Sartin and Tim van Eyken. Thanks to all concerned for an album that cheers my home listening and makes me want to see their next gig, wherever it is.