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Bob Blair of Living Tradition

reviews Dead Maid's Land by Paul Wilson & Marilyn Tucker

This CD is part of the Songs of the West Project coordinated by the Wren Trust about the folk song work of Sabine Baring-Gould.

The main singers Marilyn Tucker, Paul Wilson and Tim Laycock are supplemented by a variety of instruments (including fiddle cello, concertina, recorder, accordion, guitar and serpent) and players (Chris Foster, Chris Bartram and Ellen Thompson) and all have an association in one form or other with the work of the Wren Trust.

The songs are gems! - and the various singers do them justice. Some of the songs may appear elsewhere in other versions or even in the work of Baring-Gould, either previously published or in the manuscripts he deposited in Plymouth Library, but these have been loving resurrected and there are additions culled from the Baring-Gould collection that have only come to light in the last few years. For this we owe thanks to the work of the Wren Trust and Martin Graebe in particular.

All but one song is accompanied, the exception being a version of The Golden Vanity, but the accompaniments are tasteful and do not intrude on the songs. There is also a couple of instrumental tracks featuring tunes from BaringGoulds collection.

The notes accompanying the CD credit, most properly, the source singers from whom the songs came and contain further information on the Wren Trust including information on Internet sites which feature the work of the Trust and Baring?Gould.

This CD is a must for those interested in the work of Baring-Gould and/or British traditional song.