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Jim McCourt of The Living Tradition

reviews Far Distant Stars by Lynne Heraud and Pat Turner

English folk song is alive and well! Far Distant Stars contains 15 tracks of a cappella and harmony music by this well known and highly popular duo. Steeped in experience, Lynne's plaintive tones blend beautifully with Pat's deeper, richer voice, as they span traditional and contemporary genres, while including tributes to music hall.

Any CD which covers such diverse topics as stress incontinence, supermarket dating, murder, gossip and the aspirations and disappointments of love, marriage, and flirting, must have something to commend it! Laments, laughter, true stories and tragedy are all in the mix. The emphasis throughout is on Lynne and Pat's voices, with accompaniment (provided by Lynne on recorder and Pat on guitar and English concertina) tending to be minimal and restrained.

Lynne herself contributes three comedy songs (so difficult to write) and adds music to a World War I poem. Two songs have been penned by Pat, one being the touching Song For Tom. Four tracks are traditional, including The Bold Grenadier and the true story of a Poor Murdered Woman. Anne Lister's beautiful song, Moth, is also covered, as are compositions by Graham Miles and Paul Davenport. There is even space for Sympathy by the rock group Rare Bird.

This eclectic variety of song, all easily united under the umbrella of folk, will be an inspiration to singers, especially those ready to brave a club audience or seeking to try harmony vocals. With its authenticity, accessibility, warmth and commitment, Far Distant Stars epitomises what is best in folk song.