Baz Parkes of Shreds and Patches
reviews Well Seasoned by Keith KendrickI never cease to be amazed at someone who can master the intricacies of both Anglo concertina and
its (To my fingers anyway) somewhat trickier cousin the English. Keith Kendrick can and does!. Add
to that mastery a voice like a well kept pint of draught mild, and you have a talent to be reckoned with.
Throw into the equation some 30 + years work on the folk scene, including the Druids, Muckram Wakes
and one of the seminal English Dance (And so much more) bands - Ram’s Bottom, and you have some
idea of the quality of work represented on this CD.
‘Well Seasoned’ was born out of a show that Keith toured in the late nineties in the company of Jo Freya.
It looks at calendar customs through the year, starting and ending with Christmas time. It’s a road that’s
been travelled before , and by some mighty feet; but it is to Keith’s credit that none of this sounds stale
or jaded. That’s partly due to him giving well known songs a Derbyshire slant, or marrying traditional
words to his own tunes. And, as you might expect from someone with his pedigree, to quote Eric
Morecambe, “You can’t see the join!”
There’s not a duff track amongst the 15 here, with styles ranging from the full pelt chorus of ‘Hark, Hark
What News’ (from the Sheffield carol tradition) through to the almost parlour song treatment of Will Noble’s
‘Beautiful Dale’, where Keith is accompanied by some lovely understated piano from Paul Sartin. There’s
a couple of lovely tune sets; Scan Tester’s ‘Nutley Waltz’ coupled with Keith’s own ‘Doug’s Maggot’ (A
type of dance – rather than an insult) and the traditional ‘Norfolk’ played alongside the ‘Gaspe` Reel’.
How nice to see this credited to Leadbelly, who used to play it on the one row, apparently. There’s a
wonderful new calling on song from John Tams ‘Bring ‘Im On’ and a Graeme Miles song ‘The Scarecrow’
which has a melody that I’ve not been able to get out of my head since first hearing it. There’s backing
vocals from the