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Pete Wood of EDS

reviews Songs from the Derbyshire Coast by Keith Kendrick

Keith Kendrick has done long service in folk music, and the experience shows. Like other fine singers, he gets better and better, and a run of four tracks early on this album illustrate the range of his performance very well. 'Once I courted a Damsel', derived from a fragment of Joseph Taylor's singing, is Keith at his very best, unaccompanied, well thought out, together with splendid harmonies on chorus from Sylvia Needham, and a model of how to sing a traditional English song.

Then a lovely jaunty version of 'Beulah Land', with a full band backing, and dubbed by Keith his 'fun' track for the CD. (Haven't heard this since Swan Arcade were around; wonderfully refreshing). Next, and a highlight of the CD for me, is Mike O'Connor's 'Summon up the Sun', with double tracked harmonies from Keith himself, and guitar. The last of this quartet is the instrumental 'Turkish Quickstep', an infectious piece from 'The Battle of Prague' of 1788, with lots of musician friends.

The album title is presumably a reference to Keith's inclination to maritime songs, and there's a smattering of these, including a couple of straightforward tracks of well known shanties. 'The Coast of Peru' has more inventiveness of pace, with harmonies by Lynne Heraud. The album finishes with the Sheffield carol 'Arise arise', with full ensemble chorus. Just in time for Christmas!

This is a very good album, with lots of variation, and well produced. Keith has a lot of excellent singers and musicians in support, and the arrangements are good. A pity that the notes are very confusing about who is playing on which track, or even which instruments in some cases.