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Tom Bell Richards of Shire Fok

reviews Sharp Practice by Mary Humphreys & Anahata

Two names new to me, presenting a selection of English music with a nod towards the Cecil Sharp centenary. Mary Humphreys is a fine traditional singer, and plays finger?style banjo and concertina. Her voice is low and quite dark, and telling the story clearly always comes first. Anahata is a first class melodeon and anglo player in a John Kirkpatrick?ish style. His melodeon playing includes a very effective melody/counter?melody on India War/Jacks Health, and a tune intended to be impossible to play! He also provides excellent cello accompaniments. Songs and tunes share the cd fairly evenly, and even where the material is very familiar, (e.g. Barbry Allen) these versions are worth hearing. As with much of the best English music these two do simple?seeming things with a subtlety that hides just how well they are being done!