Tony O’Neill. of Shire Folk
reviews Just Another Day by Tom and Barbara BrownTom and Barbara Brown live in Combe Martin’ in their beloved County of Devon and their repertoire draws heavily on the traditional songs of the West Country. This CD (their sixth) is collection of songs collected from two retired Minehead sea Captains, James Vickery and Robert Lewis over 100 years ago plus three written specially by Tom and Barbara for the 2014 Minehead Harbour Heritage Project.
As with their previous offerings, a considerable amount of research, ‘song archaeology’, not to mention lifetimes of knowledge has been needed on the arrangements to put this CD together.
The recordings, by the redoubtable Doug Bailey of ‘WildGoose’, have used a whole host of Folk performers and a host of instruments to give a full rounded feel to the presentation. Having said that I do rather like the only acappella track, a shanty sung by Barbara, ‘Heave Away My Johnny’ (words by Tom, tune trad). The overall result is a very pleasant listen.
The songs themselves are a varied bunch with a natural leaning towards the sea. I particularly liked ‘The Bonny Bunch of Roses O’, the rollicking ‘Moll O’ the Wood’, the pensive ‘The Isle of France’ and the very different ‘Franklin’.
The presentation with it’s booklet giving the background to the material is pleasing.