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Geordie McIntyre of Living Tradition - Issue 82

reviews Pride of the Season by Jack Crawford

Jack Crawford is a veteran and valued resident of the long established
Traditions at the Tiger Club, Long Eaton, Derbyshire. His long experience
is mirrored in his no nonsense, solid, intimate and confident delivery. He
is immersed in what he does with a total respect for the essence of a song.
He is a low-key, highly effective story-teller-singer. Jack normally sings
solo and unaccompanied - which, until now, is what I was familiar with.
However, here he is joined on certain tracks by Mary Humphries and Anahata
who provide sensitive and enhancing support on, as deemed appropriate,
concertina, banjo, melodeon and cello. This creative and dynamic
collaboration has proved to be a wise and fruitful choice, which Jack
acknowledges in his detailed and scholarly liner notes.

Most of the songs, like Jack, are firmly rooted in the English tradition and drawn from a wide range of oral and printed sources. Highlights for me
were: a spirited Brisk Young Widow, a delightful When Fishes Fly and a fine
Suit of Grey a lesser known song written by Cyril Tawney in 1960. Jack has included a song from Newfoundland, Scotland and Ireland respectively. From
the pen of Robert Burns we have The Slave's Lament frankly the song itself
is not a favourite of mine, nevertheless Jack makes as good a job of it as anyone I've heard. His The Deluded Lover from Brigid Tunney of Co.
Fermanagh is quite brilliant. This is a quality album from an uncompromising singer of substance.