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of Sire Folk

reviews The Long Road by Mick Ryan & Pete Harris

A collection of traditional arrangements and new songs, mostly on the common folk theme of struggle and oppression. The vocals are strong even though the style is unoriginal. The harmonies are mostly good and the musical back up is varied and competently done. Curiously, some phrases in Time to Remember the Poor reminded me of Bert Jansch, and the oboe was reminiscent of a John Renbourn song. Bonny Irish Maid was a nicely done traditional song, although I would have preferred a vocal break with the whistle instead of it playing most of way through over the vocal. One song written as a light hearted tribute to a great pair of Victorian sleuths had a melody and structure very similar to My OP Mans a Dustman. Presumably designed as a light break and fine for the clubs but not sure it works that well on record. The Two Sisters was particularly touching in its content, with a nice Irish feel to it. Whistle playing all through again but it works better on this song. Song for John is a sensitive tribute and the lyric content is touching. Voices from the Past is an attempt to rock things up. The song is fine but the arrangement didnt work in my view. Desperate Dan is another lighthearted original song this time sung unaccompanied. There is plenty in this CD for lovers of traditional song to enjoy.
Christopher Ridges