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Graham Gurrin of The Living Tradition

reviews Generosity by Various Artists - Folk for MS

Over the past 20 years annual Folk for MS concerts in Oxfordshire have raised more than 35,000 to help and support sufferers from multiple sclerosis. The project has had the support of some of the best known names in the folk world, all of whom have given their services free.

Twenty of them are on this album, all profits from which will go to the charity. And what a cracking set of acts ? the cream of two decades of the British folk scene. I'm only allowed 250 words so I'll just dip in to give you a flavour: Jez Lowe sings Taking On Men; Barry Dransfield with I Once Was A Fisherman; Harvey Andrews, Gift Of A Brand New Day; you can close your eyes and think of the clubs or festivals where you heard them sing the songs.

There is Artisan singing Brian Bedford's marvellous What's The Use Of Wings and Huw & Tony Williams doing their best XTC impression on This Place This Town. Everyone will have their unexpected gems, numbers they weren't aware of but will now pay more attention: mine are Loup Garou by Tanglefoot and A Proper Cup Of Coffee by Cosmotheka. The incomparable Vin Garbutt sings Absent Friends, and The Wilsons round things off nicely with The Parting Glass, taken from their latest album. This is a seriously good compilation ? even if it wasn't all in a good cause. Everybody wins!