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John Bentham of EDS

reviews Beyond the quay by Tom & Barbara Brown

You are cordially invited to join Tom and Barbara Brown on a cruise up the north coast of Devon and Cornwall. From Padstow Bar up to Lundy Light you will be royally entertained by two stalwarts of these parts, ably assisted by a crew of accomplished musicians and singers. Fine performances as you would expect from Tom and Barbara and the same must be said of the accompaniment. Naturally, the fare will be nautical, but as there is no work to be done we have no need of shanties. Now that’s a bit different. This is a trip that, if you haven’t the sea-legs, can be equally enjoyed from the comfort of your armchair. And a grand trip it is too.

There are songs that have been in their repertoire for years and some that are relatively new. The subject range is wide and moves from the depth of storm to the lightest of airs. Although you may think you know most of the songs on reading the play list, think again. Years of collecting and writing mean that there are some very interesting versions offered on this, the fourth collaboration between the Browns and Wild Goose Records. The insert notes were very interesting but had me scratching my head a bit as they bore no relevance to the running order of the CD. Another minor irritant is the over printing of black text on a dark background. Definitely one for grumpy old folkies!

A favourite Islay malt of mine has been described as ‘sea tangy’. I think it would be fitting to have a glass of the aforesaid near to hand while enjoying this excellent CD.