Vic Smith of fRoots
reviews Long Time Travelling by Jeff WarnerSomething of a departure, this, for Wildgoose who have previously concentrated on British-based performers, but then Jeff seems to spend an increasing amount of time on this side of the pond and is the ideal per¨former for folk clubs.
Here he gives us a very interesting and varied programme reflecting the diverse nature of the American tradition, though there is a higher proportion of songs from the vast body of songs collected by his par¨ents, Frank and Anne, than on his previous album. Perhaps this reflects the fact that he has been re-examining these songs following the development of his popular multi-media show based on his parents' work.
There is certainly more of great interest here than can be mentioned in a short review but the headlines must include the title track delivered over solo banjo and quite the finest treatment of By The Hush that you will ever hear. Two songs from one of the Warner's most prolific contributors, Lena Bourne Fish, are included and they are very different. There's her lovely, contemplative version of Young But Daily Growing whilst the album opens with a very lively Ho Boys Ho to anglo-concertina accompaniment by Keith Kendrick, whose contribution is the finest of those Warner calls on here. Another performance that stands out is Jeff and Barbara Benn harmony singing of EC Ball's One Day I Will but, on reflection, each performance here has its own merits.
It is certainly clear that here is very talented per¨former treating us to a selection of fine songs that he has lived with for most of his life.