Mike Everett of Mardles
reviews Songs of Witchcraft & Magic by Various ArtistsThis is a compilation album put together by the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle in association with Wild Goose Records.
The album opens with one of the finest duos ever to grace the folk scene, Bob Fox and Stu Luckley, with a version of The Two Magicians. Many well known artists appear, such as Martin Carthy, Frankie Armstrong, Magpie Lane, Malinky and Peter Bellamy and many well known songs of the supernatural are featured, like The Bitter Withy, Alison Cross, The Laily Worm, The Selkie and one of my personal favourites, Thomas The Rhymer.
Interesting information about the songs, as well as all the words, is provided in a booklet forming part of this well packaged and illustrated digipak, but although the source of the tracks is given there is sadly no information about the artists. One track, The Bold Astrologer, has been recorded just for this album by Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham as the version by Royston Wood and Heather Wood from their No Relation album on Transatlantic Records was not available because of problems with copyright. Another specially recorded track features Graham King, the owner of the museum, singing a unique version of The Chase Song.
But isnt this an excellent idea and way of getting folk music to a wider audience? I hope sales at the museum go well and that a second volume follows soon and please can a version of Tam Lin be included next time?