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Kathy Drage of Around Kent Folk

reviews New Road to Alston by Dave Townsend and Gill Redmond

Dave & Gill have performed together for several years but this is their first CD as a duo. The core of their repertoire are forgotten treasures from the English tradition performed with verve, passion and originality on Dave’s concertina and Gill’s cello. Their fiery improvisations carry English music to new realms with occasional excursions to Scandinavia, America and Wales. Four tracks are from Cumbria/Lake District which once had a vibrant tradition equal to anywhere luckily many manuscripts survive ‘New Road to Alston/Trip to Cartmel’, ‘The Chinese Dance’, ‘Washington Hornpipe/William Irwins’ and ‘Old Age & Young/Variations on Johnny Cope’ are all grand tunes. Songs include ‘Lousy Tailor’, ‘Banks of Sweet Primroses’, ‘Captains Apprentice’, ‘Shepherds Song’, ‘Rolling in the Dew’, and ‘Banks of the Nile’. Shaker tunes are ‘Father James Tune, Mother Annes Tune and Encouragement.’ Three Swedish tunes ‘Schottis’, ‘Engelska efter Captain Lindholm’ and ‘Chokela och Bullar’ and ‘Ffarwel Marian’ and’ Aberdaugleddau are Welsh.
The notes on source collections are informative and we thoroughly enjoyed it.