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Theo of Unicorn

reviews Cold Fen by Mary Humphreys & Anahata

Mary Humphreys and Anahata's . 'mission' to recover some of East Anglia's lost songs continues on this album, their fourth. Focusing on songs collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams during holidays at Meldreth, near Royston, in the early 1900s.

Mary has brought together lyrics and tunes that might have been, fitting songs together from records gleaned from the RVW Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House, Oxford's Bodleian Library and contemporary sources. This album features a selection of thus 're?created' songs, along with a mixture of tune sets from the unpublished manuscript of William Clark of Feltwell in Norfolk, and the John Clare manuscripts. Mary and Anahata are now well?known for their sympathetic and engaging arrangements of songs and tunes, and this collection will not disappoint enthusiasts.

Mary provides vocals, English Concertina, Banjo and Guitar, whilst Anahata contributes Cello, Anglo Concertina, Melodeons, Pipes and Chorus. As usual from Wild Goose, the recording quality is excellent, the album attractively packaged, and the sleeve notes extensive and informative. Do I have a favourite track? Difficult to say, as I enjoy all they do, though my personal bias is towards the tunes ? all well arranged, and played with lively gusto!