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Paul Rawcliffe of EFDSS

reviews A Day's Work by The cast of A Day's Work

With the centenary of the Great War, it is very fitting for different communities to pay homage and tribute to the individual stories of normal people who fought. A Day’s Work is a collaborative album with different generations of folk artists coming together to play musical tribute to such a tragic loss of lives.

Collaboration albums, with big names all coming together on projects has always been a feature of the folk community, and it has been ever increasing over the past couple of years. These types of works always go down well with audiences and gain a lot of popularity. What’s interesting about this particular project is that it isn’t a ‘collection of songs’ but rather one huge storyboard. It was originally written in 1995 and performed by Mick Ryan who has re-launched it with some of the original team and some fresh recruits. The album follows the life and times that normal people would be going through at the time of the Great War, but also with a particular focus on the Duke of Wellington. The music itself is very fitting to the material, slower but engaging tracks that feed emotion and passion, to faster jolly songs that reflect the kind of enthusiasm that propaganda was trying to generate (In particular ‘Come and Be a Soldier’). If I heard the songs without knowing the origin, I would be easily convinced that the songs were sung at the time itself, almost like trench songs.

It shows great empathy and the talent of Mick Ryan to put together such a show. Every artist involved shines and brings their own slice of expertise to make a fantastic album and a fantastic tribute.