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Ian Croft of R2

reviews Just Another Day by Tom and Barbara Brown

Tom and Barbara Brown are established traditional singers from Devon, and this album is best explained by its subtitle, Songs From Minehead Then And Now. They perform twelve songs collected by Cecil Sharp from two retired sea captains, along with three of their own, written for Minehead Harbour Maritime Heritage Project.

The traditional songs are mostly familiar, though here in a local variant. 'Franklin' is quite different from the better known 'Lord Franklin' both in tune and length, and 'The Devonshire Girls' puts a local flavour to a song often found in Lancashire. 'Moll 0'The Wood' is one of the less common items apparently Sharp was sung tune and chorus but verses were deemed too bawdy!
The three self composed songs compare well. 'A Minehead Lad' is a jaunty tale of changing times. 'Heave Away My Johnny' and 'Just Another Day' are Tom's stories to existing tunes; the former traditional, the latter 'Lili Marlene, which really suits Barbara's voice.

Tom and Barbara take turns at lead vocals, and Tom accompanies all but three songs on guitar, melodeon or concertina. There's also instrumental support and lusty chorus singing from friends too numerous to mention, and it all contributes to a fine album of (largely) traditional material, yet another from the ever reliable WildGoose.