Fiona Heywood of The Living Tradition
reviews Songs from the Past Into the Future by Derek GiffordNo stranger to the folk scene, or to recording, here is another release by Derek Gifford, again with nautical and environmental issues running throughout two of the themes that have become associated with his singing over the years.
This CD consists of 14 well chosen songs, most of which are written by other respected folk singers (Pete Coe, Richard Grainger, Alan Bell, Bob Watson etc), alongside two traditional songs Dives And Lazarus and Bold Fisherman. Derek accompanies himself on guitar or bowed psaltery on some tracks, and has a few other guest musicians giving him a hand at points, and the rest of the songs are unaccompanied, though often embellished by a fine group of chorus singers, effectively portraying that folk club feel.
The disc opens and closes with two strong songs. Richard Grainger's Land And Sea talks of humankind's mismanagement and often blatant disregard for the resources at its disposal, and Paul Sartin's oboe is used here to good effect. Brian Hooper's Coming In Further, gives a slightly more humorous take on the state of our environment, and closes the disc with a catchy chorus ringing in your ears.
This is a fine CD, full of good songs and singable choruses a worthy addition to any song lover's album collection.