Songs from the Derbyshire Coast

by Keith Kendrick

When Keith and I discussed making this third album with WildGoose the idea was to address several aspects of Keiths performing career. It was also planned to be a solo album but given that his career has always featured collaborations with other musicians this proved impossible so we have tried to reflect this without masking his own undoubted abilities as a solo artist. The pieces here reflect Keiths own ideas and arrangements and we have tried to present other artistes contributions as enhancements rather than using them as props - often a difficult balance to strike, but I hope that this comes across.



Keiths tastes in traditional music have always been diverse and eclectic including: English song and dance in general but increasingly concentrating on Derbyshire versions; maritime songs and shanties; and the occasional contemporary song written in traditional style. All of these styles are reflected here. There are some very meaningful and serious items and also some lighter pieces just for fun but always with a strong leaning towards the maritime; hence the title of the album

Keith Kendrick vocals, English and anglo concertinas, guitar
John Adams harmony vocals, guitar
Michael Beeke tuba, English pipes
Doug Eunson harmony vocals, melodeon
Alice Jones piano
Ralph Jordan duet concertina, guitar
Sarah Matthews harmony vocals, fiddle, viola
Michelle Short harmony vocals, bodhran
Harmony vocals Sylvia Needham, Lynne Heraud, Pat Turner, Tom Brown, Doug Bailey 

1 Bold Riley 
Trad. Arr: Kendrick 

‘Full English’ is the name of a project group involving yours truly, Sylvia Needham, Lynne Heraud and Pat Turner. This is the song that gave rise to the idea when we all performed it together at Broadstairs Folk Week a few years ago. Interestingly enough I was inspired to sing the song in the first place (having known it for years, mind) after hearing a lovely performance by the delectable Kate Rusby - thanks Kate. 

2 Lowlands of Holland 
Trad. Arr: Kendrick 

Likely the first British traditional song I ever sang in public - thanks to Martin Carthy for his early recorded performance (and much, much more) and Tom Addison for leading me to it. Good onyer chaps! 

3 Once I courted a Damsel 
Trad. Arr: Kendrick/Needham 

I first heard this song 30 something years ago as a fragment from the singing of Joseph Taylor. It wasn’t until quite recently that I heard the complete song performed by an old friend - Bill Prince, which immediately inspired Sylvia and I to work up this rendition. Few songs have afforded me such lasting pleasure in performance - it stands alone in both beauty and melodic style..…and you should hear Bill’s version! 

4 Beulah Land 
Trad. Arr: Kendrick 

This song was taught to me by Suzy Adams from the singing of the amazing Helen Schneyer who was unique and for me, one of the great pioneers of the U.S. folk scene. Helen sadly died last year while Sylvia and I were performing at Pinewoods Folk Festival in Cape Cod (where she would likely have been otherwise - so a very sad coincidence), but we all sang to her memory. The melody is in fact the Fijian national anthem (don’t yer know!) Practically all my CD’s have a ‘fun’ track somewhere - I like to think that Helen would have approved…… 

5 Summon up the Sun 
O’Connor/Arr: Kendrick 

Summon up the Sun (O’Connor/Arr: Kendrick) Of the songs that have been made about this mysterious man of leaves, just one had managed to grab and keep my attention for years. This was in fact ‘The Green Man’ by the great Graeme Miles - which is ‘mammoth’ for sure, so much so that I was convinced that the job had been done to everyone’s satisfaction… ….until, that is, the deeply insightful ‘Bard of Cornwall’ Mike O’Connor put this together and sang it to me - so at best, there are now two! Hope you like it Mike. 

6 Turkish Quickstep 
Kotzwara/Arr: Kendrick 

This wonderful little tune, of which there are two versions played here, is part of a piece of battle music called ‘The Battle of Prague’ composed by Karl Kotzwara in London in 1788. I first heard it played by the terrific ‘RBB Band’ from Nottingham some years ago and subsequently used it in a touring musical theatre production of ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ recently. 

7 Sally Free and Easy 
Tawney/Arr: Kendrick/Needham 

Never having actually sung a Cyril Tawney song in my life (for some strange reason that I can’t fathom) I was moved to sing this possibly best known and loved of his wonderful and immense song factory produce during his last couple of weeks in hospital - leading ultimately to his most untimely death not two years ago at time of writing. There have been many great renditions of ‘Sally’ but so often presented as a lament. Upon reading Cyril’s own words about the song (which he says he wrote as a sort of English ‘blues’) it appeared to us that he saw it more as a ‘rant’ or a ‘tirade’, so we’ve tried here to insert a bit of bitter anger as well as despair. R.I.P. Cyril. 

8 The Echoin’ Horn 
Trad. Arr: Kendrick/Needham 

Whatever you think about fox hunting (and there’s always two sides to a story) the many glorious songs that it has produced over decades should, in my view, be evaluated separately from the activity itself (past or present) as, surely and undeniably, great pieces of artistic endeavour by people who at an earlier time clearly believed that, rightly or wrongly, it was necessary. I neither decry nor support foxhunting, it’s simply a thing of the past and we should let it be - but let the songs travel on as a socio-historic reference at least! This is a great one from Peter Kennedy’s recording of Bob Copper (both late and lamented) in 1956. 


9 Napoleon’s Dream 
Trad. Arr. Kendrick 

From the singing of dear old Sam Larner - I’ve loved this song since the day, again, Suzie Adams played it to me when I joined Muckram Wakes in 1980 but I hadn’t sung it since we folded in 1984 until very recently. I regret that but, hey, better late than never! 

10 The Sailor’s Prayer 
McDonald/Arr: 

So, I was out in Japan dressed as a duck……hmmmm where I met a fine singer guitarist from Florida (with a heavy scouser accent), Jeff Mason. He played me a cassette by a knock-out; knock-about all male acapela maritime group called ‘The Corsairs’ from Texas. This was one of the more meaningful songs they sang. It’s a metaphorical song from the pen of legendary New York singer/song-writer Rod McDonald which I/we always dedicate to anyone who has fought their way back to health or salvation from the very brink of extinction - among the recipients of our dedications have been such heroes as Dave Swarbrick, The Tsunami survivors and national treasure Ellen McArthur. 

11 A Hundred Years Ago/Essiquibo River/Rolling Down the Bay to Juliana 
Trad 

Just three of my favourite sea-shanties of all time, the latter two, again from the singing of the great Roy Harris……..worra lad! 

12 Roman Reel/Polka Chinoise 
Trad./Arr: Kendrick/Matthews/Eunson/Jordan 

The Roman Reel is from the famous (by now surely) Ashover Collection unearthed by Frank Sutton of Claycross in the late 60’s I think. It was played to me recently by Doug Eunson and Sarah Mathews so I invited them to play it here along with John and Michelle Adams (the other members of their group - ‘Cross O’th Hands) and Alice Jones and Michael Beeke all of whom I work/session with from time to time. 

Polka Chinoise is a striking little tune that Ralph Jordan taught to me a little while ago and which we now often play together - like here and I love it… 

13 The Coast of Peru 
Trad. Arr: Kendrick/Heraud 

Another duet this time with my famous old sparring partner Lynne Heraud from the singing of A.L.Lloyd. A truly GREAT song - and no - I don’t support Whale hunting……… 

14 Awake! Arise! 
Trad. Arr: Kendrick 

Awake! Arise! (Trad. Arr: Kendrick) Another from my growing repertoire of great songs from the Sheffield pub carol singing traditions. Again, Christ believer or not (and I’m a confirmed Heathen.) everyone should sing these songs at Christmas - they are cram-packed full of wholesome goodness……. ‘Allylooyer! 
Bold Riley
‘Full English’ is the name of a project group involving yours truly
Lowlands of Holland
Likely the first British traditional song I ever sang in public - thanks to Martin Carthy for his early recorded performance (and much
Sample not available
Once I courted a Damsel
I first heard this song 30 something years ago as a fragment from the singing of Joseph Taylor. It wasn’t until quite recently that I heard the complete song performed by an old friend - Bill Prince
Sample not available
Beulah Land
This song was taught to me by Suzy Adams from the singing of the amazing Helen Schneyer who was unique and for me
Summon up the Sun
Summon up the Sun (O’Connor/Arr: Kendrick) Of the songs that have been made about this mysterious man of leaves
Sample not available
Turkish Quickstep
This wonderful little tune
Sample not available
Sally Free and Easy
Never having actually sung a Cyril Tawney song in my life (for some strange reason that I can’t fathom) I was moved to sing this possibly best known and loved of his wonderful and immense song factory produce during his last couple of weeks in hospital - leading ultimately to his most untimely death not two years ago at time of writing. There have been many great renditions of ‘Sally’ but so often presented as a lament. Upon reading Cyril’s own words about the song (which he says he wrote as a sort of English ‘blues’) it appeared to us that he saw it more as a ‘rant’ or a ‘tirade’
Sample not available
The Echoin’ Horn
Whatever you think about fox hunting (and there’s always two sides to a story) the many glorious songs that it has produced over decades should
Sample not available
Napoleon’s Dream
From the singing of dear old Sam Larner - I’ve loved this song since the day
Sample not available
The Sailor’s Prayer
So
Sample not available
A Hundred Years Ago/Essiquibo River/Rolling Down the Bay to Juliana
Just three of my favourite sea-shanties of all time
Sample not available
Roman Reel/Polka Chinoise
The Roman Reel is from the famous (by now surely) Ashover Collection unearthed by Frank Sutton of Claycross in the late 60’s I think. It was played to me recently by Doug Eunson and Sarah Mathews so I invited them to play it here along with John and Michelle Adams (the other members of their group - ‘Cross O’th Hands) and Alice Jones and Michael Beeke all of whom I work/session with from time to time. <BR><BR> Polka Chinoise is a striking little tune that Ralph Jordan taught to me a little while ago and which we now often play together - like here and I love it…
Sample not available
The Coast of Peru
Another duet this time with my famous old sparring partner Lynne Heraud from the singing of A.L.Lloyd. A truly GREAT song - and no - I don’t support Whale hunting………
Sample not available
Awake! Arise!
Awake! Arise! (Trad. Arr: Kendrick) Another from my growing repertoire of great songs from the Sheffield pub carol singing traditions. Again
Sample not available

Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews

Dai Woosnam

I was going to start this review by saying that Keith Kendrick is a proud member of the Swiss Navy. Then I remembered that Switzerland does have a small navy of sorts.

But for all you non-Brits reading this, let me quickly explain that I am alluding to the title of this fine album. Derbyshire does not have a coastline, since it is almost the most inland of all the counties of England. And even in flood, the tiny River Erewash that separates it from Nottinghamshire, is not exactly the mighty Amazon Delta, to be mistaken for the sea. But it is a clever title: it sets out the stall of this CD, since many of the songs have a nautical aspect to them. A nautical aspect that is, of course, to be expected from such an expert shantyman such as KK.

And the cleverness doesnt end with the title. KK has been very astute in adding to the fine contributions of his usual female duettists, by recruiting the help of (some time occasional collaborators) Cross Othe Hands, a four piece Derbyshire ceilidh band (and SO much more) who are truly top-drawer. And Keith has also been very astute in coming up with a nicely balanced choice of - mostly familiar - songs. At the end of playing the CD three times, I had many favourite tracks.  

Initially I had gone for his (and Sylvia Needhams) version of that old Copper Family standard, The Echoin Horn. But then, on second and third listenings, I had found that there was a strong case to be made for his version of the traditional Beulah Land (not to be confused with the equally wonderful old hymn of the same name  by Edgar P. Stites) that I sang as a boy with such fervour in my Welsh non-conformist chapel. So no,  my bit of self-indulgence over  it aint THAT one. Rather, it is the Beulah Land made famous in American Folk circles by the singing of the late much-revered Helen Schneyer. And it is almost as good a song as the 1876 hymn. And here it is made very memorable by some inspired fiddle playing by Sarah Matthews of Cross Othe Hands.

WildGoose would not be WildGoose without presenting me with an album that has at least one song on it that arrives at me from left field and takes my breath away. Here, that song is something called The Sailors Prayer, written by formerly New York-based, but recently moved to Florida, Rod MacDonald. Golly, I can see this becoming a standard on the UK Folk scene. WildGoose are also true to form in providing very legible and classy liner notes. However, supremo Doug Bailey has taken his eye off the ball slightly by allowing a cappella to be misspelled in the notes on the MacDonald song. It strikes me,  given the nature of the WildGoose catalogue,  that this is the ONE term that should always be properly spelt! Yes, a cheap shot from me, I know. For we can all make simple spelling errors, me included.

But Doug will perhaps be a little concerned that when, visited by a non-folkie friend when that very song was playing, I was asked if it was Lynne Heraud or Sylvia Needham who was singing harmony. I replied that I thought it was the latter, but to be sure, my friend should look up the credits inside the back page of the liner notes. And guess what?  Nobody is credited for track 10 vocal harmony! Okay, the liner notes earlier do give the clue that it is indeed Sylvia, but Doug will be anxious to ensure that this blip in his usual 100% professional presentation will not recur.

But talking of recurring: I can only hope that there are many more visits to the recording studios for KK, for he has never been in better voice and never has his concertina playing been more accomplished.

Dai Woosnam

Grimsby, England

daigress@hotmail.com

The Living Tradition

Danny Saunders

Keith Kendrick has been around for quite a while now and will certainly be known to readers of TLT, not only through his recent albums (this is his third for the worthy WildGoose label) but also through his work with some of the most respected bands of recent years: The Druids, Ram's Bottom Band and Muckram Wakes.

On this new CD Keith is joined by some of the finest musicians and singers around. The cast list is too long for me to name everyone here but in whatever combination they appear their contribution adds to the performance, they are integral not just support.

The choice of material and clever arrangements are perfectly suited to Keith's rich voice and singing style. His repertoire reflects his interests in songs and song variants from Derbyshire and his enthusiasm for maritime material. There must be a clue to the title somewhere! Whether sea-shanty, a hunting song or a carol from the Sheffield pub singing tradition everything sits nicely together in what is not only a varied and rewarding programme but is also fun and all-involved while maintaining the highest musical standard. It is clear that the musicians are enjoying themselves and this enjoyment is easily picked up by the listener.

I like everything about the CD, the first class artwork, the chatty notes, the fine production and the overall authentic feel. One of the best for some time.

Shreds & Patches

Paul Burgess

The strong, clear voice of Keith Kendrick always ensures an enjoyable evening at a Club: but just because he can be described as reliable, doesn't mean that his music is unexciting. This CD demonstrates this as well as being an eminently listenable representation of his art: stirring shanties, spirituals and sea songs benefit immensely from his powerful delivery. But he shows he can handle a more introspective song (such as Once I Courted A Damsel) along with the best of them. His accompaniments on the concertina are beautifully judged and his playing of the dance tunes on the instrument is pretty nifty as well. This is a varied and well-constructed album and although there are a number of supporting musicians (in addition to harmony and chorus singers) they all help to add to the performances, rather than swamping them and increase the tonal range of this excellent album.

Netrythms

David Kidman

Now this is a magnificent CD! Good ol Keith  hes even provided his own ready-made sales pitch in his note to its final track (a glorious rendition of our local pub-tradition carol Awake! Arise!): cram-packed full of wholesome goodness Ally-looyer!  And to me, that sums up the whole disc.

A fine and characterful singer with a rich timbre and well-developed sense of style, and one hell of a concertina player too, Keiths been around the scene for more years than many folkies careers are made of, and hes always reliably delivered the goods and more, casting fresh light on well-travelled material and having an unerring percipience in ferreting out the pick of the less-heard-but-highly-deserving repertoire (songs and tunes both). And hes got a great sense of humour, as the title and cod-thematic presentation of this new CD, his third for WildGoose, self-evidently demonstrates. Naturally the Derbyshire connection continues to be important to Keith, as does his interest in, and aptitude for, maritime music (songs and shanties). These two strands of his career are well represented here, as is the sheer strength and level of his research into, and understanding of, the tradition  and indeed, of the art and practice of singing in general. For even when hes singing a deeply serious song, theres a sparkle in his eye. Which brings me to another of the many really positive features of this disc: the obvious pleasure that Keith and his numerous collaborators derive from the act of music-making. The whole feel of the CD is much as though Keiths just got some of his best mates round to the studio for a sing and a play; though they be talented mates, they dont show off, instead theyre supporting rather than stifling Keiths own talent and personality. Take the harmony vocal contributions for a start.

First theres Sylvia Needham, whose intuitive, imaginative and supportive harmonies contribute so much to this singing partnership. Of the six tracks on which Sylvia appears, three are among the discs highlights for me: excellent duets with Keith including a fairly unusual take on Sally Free And Easy thats quite spine-tinglingly bitter and a truly beautiful rendition of Once I Courted A Damsel (originally from the singing of Joseph Taylor) that really exudes both singers pure pleasure in its singing and their feeling for the text. Its interesting to compare Sylvias creative (possibly more experimental?) approach to harmony with Lynne Herauds closer-following, parallelistic method (as heard here in her entrancing duet with Keith on the whaling song Coast Of Peru). Further vocal support for Keith comes from Tom Brown and Doug Bailey (shanty-chorus  dare I call em Kendricks Men?!), the four members of Derbyshire outfit Cross O Th Hands and Pat Turner, lending both weight and timbre to several tracks including the previously mentioned carol and a spirited hunting song.

Keiths choice of material is canny, for he always picks songs which are right for his own voice (therein lies a lesson for every singer!). In terms of real repertoire discoveries, though, there are two that stand out: firstly the rousing Sailors Prayer (eyup mduck!), which I suspect will soon be doing the rounds of the best singing sessions. And secondly Mike OConnors wonderfully evocative Summon Up The Sun, a superb Green Man song that I was privileged to be granted to sing by Mike a few years back (Id been wondering how long it would be before a professional singer got round to recording it!). As you can tell from the review thus far, the discs menu is versatile and well balanced with plenty of contrast in mood, pace and texture. Keiths lively interest in, and extensive practical experience of, playing music for dance isnt forgotten too, for not only does that sensibility come across in facets such as the sprightly morris-inflected rhythms of Keiths accompaniment to Bold Riley, but also the disc includes two wonderfully cheering instrumental tracks, the first (Turkish Quickstep) combining two versions of an insidiously catchy little piece by the obscure 18th century composer Karl Kotzwara, and the second a winning juxtaposition of Roman Reel and Polka Chinoise. These are performed by a strong and full scratch band that includes Keiths fellow-sessioners Ralph Jordan, Alice Jones, Micjael Beeke and the aforementioned CoTH. Everybody seems to want to join in on a fun rendition of Beulah Land, which rather conjures up visions of the whole ensemble joyously three-stepping through Disneyland (I jest of course!). Finally, praise for the discs attractive and enjoyable design, complete with Keiths wholly companionable notes which give an informed and thoroughly sensible perspective on the music and its performance. So to sum up: that obligatory namecheck for good old Bert notwithstanding, Id say this disc will give the listener un-ALLloyd pleasure!

RocknReel

Sean McGhee



Keith Kendrick has built a real reputation in traditional folk circles, with a background of performing stretching back 40 years. The delightfully titled Songs From the Derbyshire Coast (his third for Wild Goose) reveals his love of maritime songs and the nautical theme looms large here. From an exceptional reading of 'Lowlands Of Holland', the full bodied 'Beulah Land', a gutsy 'The Echoin' Horn' and some fine tune sets, most notably 'Roman Reel/Polka Chinoise', Songs from the Derbyshire Coast is a thoroughly rewarding collection.

EDS

Pete Wood

Keith Kendrick has done long service in folk music, and the experience shows. Like other fine singers, he gets better and better, and a run of four tracks early on this album illustrate the range of his performance very well. 'Once I courted a Damsel', derived from a fragment of Joseph Taylor's singing, is Keith at his very best, unaccompanied, well thought out, together with splendid harmonies on chorus from Sylvia Needham, and a model of how to sing a traditional English song.

Then a lovely jaunty version of 'Beulah Land', with a full band backing, and dubbed by Keith his 'fun' track for the CD. (Haven't heard this since Swan Arcade were around; wonderfully refreshing). Next, and a highlight of the CD for me, is Mike O'Connor's 'Summon up the Sun', with double tracked harmonies from Keith himself, and guitar. The last of this quartet is the instrumental 'Turkish Quickstep', an infectious piece from 'The Battle of Prague' of 1788, with lots of musician friends.

The album title is presumably a reference to Keith's inclination to maritime songs, and there's a smattering of these, including a couple of straightforward tracks of well known shanties. 'The Coast of Peru' has more inventiveness of pace, with harmonies by Lynne Heraud. The album finishes with the Sheffield carol 'Arise arise', with full ensemble chorus. Just in time for Christmas!

This is a very good album, with lots of variation, and well produced. Keith has a lot of excellent singers and musicians in support, and the arrangements are good. A pity that the notes are very confusing about who is playing on which track, or even which instruments in some cases.

Whats Afoot

Ken Hinchliffe

I suspect that rarely these days, do people sit down and listen to music, of whatever genre, simply for the pure joy of the music. Well, for those traditionalists amongst us, this album warrants every bit of your attention.

This is Keith Kendrick's third album with Wildgoose records and I believe it to be the best yet. With one exception all of the twelve songs (there are fourteen tracks in total) have been recorded by other artists in the past, but Keith presents them with an innovative freshness which sets them apart from those that have gone before.

Summon Up the Sun by Mike O'Connor, is one of those songs which have that touch of magic. Add Keith's warm toned, powerful but sensitive voice, and you have a combination which makes compelling listening - absolutely stunning.

It would be impossible for me to select a favourite track from this CD, simply because of the enjoyment derived from each and every one, but Sally Free and Easy deserves a special mention. Keith sings this song in harmony with Sylvia Needham. Their voices blend and compliment each other's, capturing the anger and despair of this Cyril Tawney song to perfection. It is unquestionably, the best interpretation that I have ever heard of this song. The other songs, however, are tastefully balanced against one another, from the expressive lament Once I Courted a Damsel, to a bouncingly rhythmic, foot-tapping, Beulah Land.

I am a self confessed Kendriaphile. I personally prefer his solo voice, uncluttered by other voices excellent as they may be. Two good examples of this are with Lowlands of Holland and Napoleon's Dream. For me, Keith Kendrick, epitomises all that a folk singer should be. Plus, he plays the Anglo concertina and English concertina to perfection, and while on the subject, it is pertinent that I should mention track 6 on the CD. Turkish Quickstep. This wonderful little tune is part of a piece called The Battle of Prague and included in the instrumental line up are the English pipes. A touch of inspiration on someone's part, and in this instance, they lift the music to an additional delightful dimension.

Out of the entire CD I have but one constructive observation (is that different to criticism?) to make. Keith clearly has experienced and been greatly impressed by the carol singing at `The Royal Hotel' Dungworth, Sheffield. However good the interpretation of Awake Arise is, and it is truly good, I feel that a carol is out of context with all the other excellent material on this CD.

The Folk Mag

Jane Kremer and Dave Thomas

We really ought to start off by admitting to being great fans of Keith's. A new album from Keith is always something to look forward to hearing. The title of the CD is a wonderful example of his sense of humour, and the case is illustrated with maps of Derbyshire in which Staffordshire has mysteriously sunk. with a ship anchoring in the vicinity of Flash Bar! Half the review team, however, failed to realise that the county is actually landlocked.

The title is, however, the excuse for including several shanties and other sea songs. Some of the shanties, such as Bold Reilly, would perhaps not satisfy the purists, but others, like the unusual version of A Hundred Years Ago, could come straight off the deck of a four-master.

The CD is so very Keith, and the recording so good, that he could be performing in front of you, his personality shines through so much. Planned to be predominantly a solo album, Keith is joined on various tracks by many recognisable voices, too many to mention by name, with whom he has appeared with in the past.

The tracks are well balanced, giving an impressive look at the diversity of style Keith is capable of. They range from a'capella duet through choruses to instrumentals. They also show a great depth of knowledge and research. You will find unusual versions on more than one track; this is not a CD where you can glance at the titles and tick them off as "know that", "heard that": each needs to be listened to. Even songs where the words are well known are given an original twist: Cyril Tawney's Sally Free and Easy has some breathtaking harmony work that leaves the listener gasping, especially at that last chord! The description of the whale hunt in Coast of Peru is brutal and definitely not for the squeamish, but it is an example of Keith's genius that he chooses to follow it with Awake, Arise from the Sheffield carol tradition, which is equally evocative in its own way.

If you have never heard Keith before, this CD is an excellent introduction to an all round performer. If you have heard him then you probably have some idea what you are missing by not listening to it!

Folk Northwest

Kath Holden

This is Keith's third album with Wild Goose Records and a very fine one too, a well thought out balance of traditional songs of the sea and some of the land, hand in hand with some good contemporaries. It wouldn't be complete without a shanty or two and then some good tunes to tap your feet to. What more could you want. Well yes, they all should be well performed and I can't fault that either.

The traditional songs are ones we know and love "Bold Riley", "Lowlands of Holland", "The Echoin' Horn", "Once I courted a damsel" and a lovely rendition of "Napoleon's Dream". Two rousers are "Beulah Land" which according to the track notes is set to the tune of the Fijian national anthem (I bet everyone except me knew that anyway), and a Christmas carol from the Sheffield pub carol singing traditions "Awake! Arise!" sung with enthusiasm and harmonic hosannas. Keith is joined by Lynne Heraud in a version of the whaling song "The coast of Peru" - I don't imagine there's much whaling these days in Derbyshire, but who am I to say. "The Sailor's Prayer" written by New York singer/songwriter Rod McDonald is a song of fight and defiance against nature, which Keith dedicates to modern day heroes like Dave Swarbrick, Ellen McArthur and the Tsunami survivors. I can't decipher from the notes, who is singing the harmony on this one but it's a good song. The other contemporary song is by Mike O'Connor from Cornwall. Based on the same theme as Graham Miles' "The Green Man", it comes a close second.

I did say there were some tunes and "Turkish Quickstep" composed by Karl Kotzwara in London in 1788 is a real foot tapper, one of those tunes I never knew the name of. Two versions of it are played in sequence, the first one features Keith on concertina with Michael Beeke on English pipes and the second Keith again with Sarah Matthews on fiddle. The other set of tunes are "Roman Reel" from the Ashover collection played by Keith, Cross O'the Hands, Alice Jones and Michael Beeke, and "Polka Chinoise" played by Keith and Ralph Jordan on McCann duet concertina. A Keith Kendrick CD would not be complete without a shanty or two and with a little help from his friends Doug Bailey, Tom Brown, Doug Eunson and John Adams, we have "A Hundred Years Ago/Essequibo River/Rolling down the Bay to Juliana" - all very rousing stuff.

This is a CD you can have a jolly good sing to in the car and enjoy every minute.

Pete Fyfe

Pete Fyfe

Ive long admired Keiths singing since we first met at Rochester Sweeps festival many years ago. For some reason though Id never heard any of his solo recordings. Now this has been happily rectified. With some irony (hes based in Derbyshire) and armed with more than a fistful of maritime songs this CD is like the proverbial breath of fresh air. Having recently worked alongside Keith on several occasions it is obvious that he has an affinity with the sea based songs that are liberally sprinkled throughout and with his beautiful resonant tone on the Lowlands Of Holland, Sally Free And Easy and The Sailors Prayer these hoary old chestnuts are given a new lease of life. On the less established numbers such as the jaunty bar-room sing-along Beulah Land youll find yourself joining in the chorus and if not  why not? Joined by musicians including John Adams, Ralph Jordan and Sylvia Needham it is obvious that everyone had a great time recording this album and it conveys well to the listener. Do yourselves a favour  if you like your music to bring a smile to your face this will definitely be an album worth purchasing.

Mardles

Mike Everett

The Derbyshire coast is an interesting concept in itself, as the county is landlocked, but it instantly reveals two of Keith Kendricks passions in folk music. He is well known for his interest and knowledge of the songs and music of his native Derbyshire and his enthusiasm for sea songs. In this album, he gets the chance to enjoy both.

The sea gets the bigger share but its nice to hear the Derbyshire band Cross oth Hands joining Keith on Roman Reel from the Ashover collection and several other tracks. There is also support from many of Keiths singing partners, like Sylvia Needham, Lynne Heraud and Pat Turner, who provide vocal harmonies, as well as a shanty chorus for a medley of his favourite shanties.

There are many well known songs from the opening Bold Riley to the final rousing Sheffield carol Awake! Arise! Sandwiched between them is a nice mixture of traditional songs and tunes as well as a few others, with a particularly nice May Day song, Summon Up The Sun, from Mike OConnor.

Its good to see somebody keeping hunting and whaling songs alive, as theyre cracking songs whatever your viewpoint on these subjects, and The Echoin Horn and The Coast of Peru are two of the best.

This is another thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable recording from one of the stalwarts on the folk scene. Lose yourself for an hour as you listen to and sing along with Keith.

Around Kent Fok

Kathy & Bob Drage

What a wonderful entertainer Keith is - he sings superbly, plays grandly and his story telling, especially in Derby dialect is quite delightful. This CD addresses several angles of Keith's 40 years performing career. From English song & dance, maritime songs & shanties to the occasional contemporary song like Mike O'Conner's 'Summon Up The Sun'. Sea songs include Tawney's 'Sally Free & Easy' & 'A Hundred Years Ago/Essiquibo Rive. Fine singing on 'Bold Riley', 'Echoin' Horn Napoleon's Dream' & the Sheffield carol 'Awake. Arise!' with harmonies from Sylvia Needham, Lynne Heraud & Pat Turner. Musicians include Ralph Jordon & Alice Jones.

The title is a great example of Keith's sense of humour - a CD never to tire of listening to.

BBCRadio2 Website - Mike Harding

BBCRadio2

The Derby Ram's new album is a treat for trad fans, packed with well-chosen songs - arranged with no fuss but plenty of heart - and Keith's natural, salt-of-the-earth, storyteller's voice.  

Lancashire Wakes

John McAlister

Don't go rushing to find the atlas, there is no coast in Derbyshire. This CD is a mixture of songs and tunes reflecting the various collaborations Keith has been involved with over the years, hence there is no particular theme though maritime songs prevail. Keith has been singing for many years and has a fine voice for shanties and traditional songs which he accompanies with the concertina. The songs would mostly be recognised in some part by folk singing enthusiasts but I particularly liked the tunes; Turkish Quickstep, Roman Reel, and Polka Chinois, which were new to me. The notes explain each track and the relevance to Keith's progress though, as a performer, I always hope that artists will provide words and music.

This is a very well presented CD; my only complaint being the presence of a woman singing harmony in Sally Free and Easy. As the song is a good old moan about unfaithful women, I think it is best as a solo song for a man. Folk clubs may seem awash with performers these days, many of a high standard, and everyone seems to be producing a CD, so I wish Keith well with this one; the competition is hot.

Sing Out U.S.A.

KR

Vocalist, concertina player and guitarist Keith Kendrick pays no attention to the wide world of musical trends and fusions. His is a strictly acoustic approach that focuses on traditional English songs and tunes. So this CD is another fine showcase of Kendrick's strong, clear singing and jaunty concertina playing, supported by other musicians and/ or singers when appropriate (such as the backing vocalists who provide full bodied harmonies on "Awake Awake" and "Beulah Land.")

Tradition

Clive Pownceby

Keith Kendrick has always enjoyed a certain prestige around in?the?know circles whether as a band member of, among others, The Druids (seminal outfit whose two Argo vinyl albums form part of my fall-back eBay-based pension scheme), Ram's Bottom, Tup, or East Kent Hoppers. His status as a pioneer is surely a given, and more recently he's been all at sea as part of trio, Three Sheets To The Wind as well as filling in the few odd moments in his diary with duos involving Lynne Heraud or Sylvia Needham.

This solo album for Wildgoose sees him in rude health, with a set of mainly traditional, partly maritime slanted material now and then augmented by a stellar cast that includes Lynne and Sylvia and elegant Derbyshire combo Cross O'the Hands.

The fulsome liner notes which namecheck the likes of Martin Carthy, Bert Lloyd, Helen Schneyer, Graeme Miles, and Sam Larner give a good idea where our boy is coming from; but whether a cappella or accompanied by his own concertina or guitar, Kendrick shows a talent for more than just arrangement.

The opening Bold Rlley is among the best of these revisits, tuneful and with a true zest that gets up and goes to work with a vengeance. Elsewhere Keith shows himself an authoritative vocalist, with trademark warm timbre, able to project emotion without over?emoting. Lowlands Of Holland is as relevant as ever in the current international climate ?a heartfelt understatement of the human anguish that warfare brings and leaves in its wake. An intense reading of The Sailor's Prayer contrasts nicely with an unusually chipper version of Beulah Land, both concerning victory through adversity. Added to the mix are tune sets, which include the bright and bouncy Turkish Quickstep, plus the wholehearted shanties which are all rounded up and brought into the fold by the closing Awake Arise Good Christians from the 'people's' carolling tradition of the Sheffield area.

You want variety? You've got it.

A passionate, poised album, capable of brightening the dullest of days, and evidence of a genuine talent.

EFN

PETE FYFE

I've long admired Keith's singing since we first met at Rochester Sweeps festival many years ago. For some reason, though, I'd never heard any of his solo recordings. Now this has been happily rectified. With some irony (he's based in Derbyshire) and armed with more than a fistful of maritime songs, this CD is like the proverbial breath of fresh air. Having recently worked alongside Keith on several occasions it is obvious that he has an affinity with the sea based songs that are liberally sprinkled throughout and with his beautiful resonant tone on the 'Lowlands Of Holland', 'Sally Free And Easy' and 'The Sailor's Prayer' these hoary old chestnuts are given a new lease of life. On the less established numbers such as the jaunty bar-room sing-along 'Beulah Land' you'll find yourself joining in the chorus and if not - why not? Joined by musicians including John Adams, Ralph Jordan and Sylvia Needham it is obvious that everyone had a great time recording this album and it conveys well to the listener. Do yourselves a favour, if you like your music to bring a smile to your face this will definitely be an album worth purchasing from www.wildgoose.co.uk

Rythms Australia

Tony Hiller

Keith Kendrick is a quintessential English folkie, whose unpretentious singing and concertina playing has graced a thousand trad club nights. As the CD title suggests Songs From The Derbyshire Coast a somewhat ironical name given that county's landlocked status?encompasses some sea shanties, including Cyril Tawney's seminal 'Sally Free And Easy', Roy Harris's 'Essequibo River' and 'Rolllng Down The Bay To Juliana' and A.L. Lloyd's 'The Coast Of Peru', and interestingly a song carrying the melody of the Fijian national anthem ('Beulah Land'). The sombre nature of much of the set is partially offset by a vein of humour.