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Dai Jeffries of Rock n Reel

reviews One Man Hand by Tony Hall

Younger readers may like to know that Tony Hall is regarded as an elder statesman on the folk circuit?check out your parents' old LP sleeves for proof?and I think it fair to say that he's also something of an eccentric, playing only Hohner melodeons, straight off the shelf and old enough to provide their own percussion, something that modern players and studios wouldn't allow.

That, together with his style of playing and songwriting, makes him sound a little old?fashioned, reminiscent of Bob Roberts, perhaps. A song such as 'Binder Twyne' may be predictably sentimental but only someone steeped in rural life could have written it, Equally, no one else would write a song called 'Down On The Hard' and insist that it was entirely innocent. Tony is never predictable, though, and between the lovely' Lord Haddo's Favourite' and his own composition, 'The Beccles Stomp', comes his version of 'Strange Fruit'!

He plays and sings what he enjoys and considers important and if that includes 'Bless Your Beautiful Hide', so what? I make no bones about enjoying this record ?and Tony's live performances when I get the opportunity. Four stars for fun!