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John McAlister of Lncashire Wakes

reviews Fenlandia by Mary Humphreys & Anahata

This is a gem of a CD. Mary Humphreys has a beautiful voice and a well developed traditional singing style; very much to my taste. Although Mary is Welsh, my friend, Mark Downing, tells me she spent time in the Manchester area, which explains why she does not have an accent of the area the songs are drawn from. The songs have been well researched and presented and the arrangements are kept simple, not detracting from the songs. Anahata provides delicate melodeon accompaniments on various types of melodeons, anglo concertina and even the cello, whilst Dave and Gina Holland add fiddle, hurdy gurdy, flute and piccolo. The songs are interspersed with local tunes and some Welsh tunes, all well played. The CD includes plenty of information about the songs and tunes which provide all the background you could need. For those who wish to sing the songs, Mary has a song book available from the website www.treewind.co.uk/mha/songbook.html where you can also play soundclips. You can also find Mary and Anahata at most of the major festivals or coming to a folkclub near you, such is their growing popularity. Go out and buy the CD!