Fred McCormick of EDS
reviews Just Another Day by Tom and Barbara BrownThis CD could be considered an adjunct to the work which Tom and Barbara Have been doing with Cecil Sharp’s collection of John Short’s shanties for the past few years. Short’s repertoire doesn’t figure on this outing, but the songs are from his part of the world. Thirteen in fact were collected by Sharp from two Minehead sea captains – Robert Lewis and James Vickery. These are augmented by two delightful compositions from the Brown stable: ‘A Minehead Lad’ and ‘Just Another Day’.
The traditional songs are an excellent bunch, with particularly good renditions of ‘Isle of France’ and ‘Reilly’. I was especially glad to hear an unusual text of ‘Lord Franklin.’ It makes a welcome change to the one which has been doing the rounds for years now. Normally I have an aversion to over-orchestrated CDs, and I cringed a little when I saw the list of musicians who’d participated here. I needn’t have worried. The playing is first class, the arrangements are tasteful and nowhere do the accompaniments even come close to dominating the singing!
The notes are informative, rather than scholarly. That’s fair enough, but there should surely have been some indication as to where the songs can be found in Sharp’s collection. Also, I’m not sure what to make of the note to ‘The Bonny Bunch of Roses O’. The author seems not to realise that the Act of Union, which incorporated Ireland into the UK and gave rise to the phrase ‘bonny bunch of roses’, was a separate piece of legislation to the one which had similarly incorporated Scotland almost a century earlier. Finally, I should have waxed lyrical about the splendid sunset photos of the Minehead coast. No matter. You’ll see them yourself when you buy the CD.