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Derek Gifford of Folk Northwest

reviews The Island of Apples by Mick Ryan & Pete Harris

There are some CDs that come through the letterbox that you just know you are going to enjoy even before youve played the first track. I confess openly that I am a Mick Ryan and Pete Harris fan; the former for his fine song writing and rich voice and the latter for his instrumental prowess and inventive harmony arrangements - so dont expect an unbiased review!

This latest CD from them is well up to the usual standard with a mix of Micks own traditional style songs and others from Graham Moore, including the superb A Tolpuddle Man (surprisingly this was the first song he wrote!), a couple of traditional songs, including a lovely up tempo version of the Copper Familys Cupids Garden and a song from Micks sister entitled Fresh Fish a light hearted tale supposedly based on fact in a lilting waltz tempo and with a challenging chorus!

The title track is one of Micks finest. Based on Arthurian legend the Island in question is now Glastonbury. Sung a capella with Pete adding a harmony towards the end its classic stuff.
Obviously the majority of Micks songs on this album are from his shows and Ive heard many of them before but a new one that stood out was Here Comes Mick from his latest show The Navvys Wife. Also, from The Voyage two songs When We Take em Over and Sailing West are placed back to back rather perceptively giving us maritime fans a pleasant dose of the sea. The CD rounds off with a fitting tribute to the late, great Cyril Tawney in The Song Goes On.

A very satisfying album presented in the usual consummately professional manner  by Doug Bailey at WildGoose. Thanks chaps!