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Andrews of Whats Afoot

reviews Floating Verses by Mary Humphreys & Anahata

Following in the footsteps of their two previous albums, Mary & Anahata again serve up a delightful selection of traditional English songs and tunes researched and culled from a variety of manuscripts and collections. Always on the look out for less familiar versions of a well?known song or an unusual but g tune, their material, well-supported detailed sleeve notes, never lacks interest.
The accompaniments on cello, melodeon and anglo concertina from Anahata perfectly complement Marys voice, which caries the same warmth and feeling for the songs that she expresses in live performances. I can honestly say that there are no tracks which fail to appeal to me, but tire fast and final songs, Green Grow The Laurel and If I Were A Blackbird, epitomise Mays unique style and quality. I particularly like Anahatas cheeky interposing of Morris tunes between the verses of The Prickly Bush not an obvious partnership! Though accompanying herself on banjo on some songs, the instrumentals feature May on English concertina along with Anahatas melodeon in a medley of 3/2 hornpipes (one composed by Purcell) and a selection of other hornpipes influenced in part by playing for Molly Dancing in their East Anglian home - all great to listen to, and a real challenge for lesser melodeon players to copy.
Once again, congratulations to WildGoose and to Mary & Anahata for producing a most enjoyable CD.