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Oz Hardwick of R2

reviews Well Dressed by Keith Kendrick & Sylvia Needham

Keith and Sylvia mostly sing mostly sing traditional English songs, and they sing them bloody well!

Okay, it's not that simple, but it never is, is it? There are countless singers of traditional song the length and breadth of the land (and hooray for that!), but there are some, like Keith and Sylvia, who have a little something that a musicologist could perhaps define, but a layman such as myself wouldn't understand even if they did.
What I do understand, though, is that although I've heard most of the material here any number of times, these versions have that raw boisterousness that in decades gone by we used to get away with calling 'authentic'. The a cappella unison of the likes of 'Five Gallon Jar' and harmonies on 'Banks Of The Nile' bristle with simple power. Elsewhere they accompany themselves with nimble concertina playing, whilst friends pop by to add spirited accompaniment on guitar, hurdy gurdy, fiddle, dulcimer and more as needed.

Really, though, it's all about the songs and the singing, and if that's what you're after, this cracking little album will do very nicely indeed.