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Mike Norris of Folk London

reviews Well Dressed by Keith Kendrick & Sylvia Needham

If there are foundations upon which the current successes and popularity of English traditional music can be said to be built, then Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham and those of similar talent and commitment are the core components.

This album is absolutely terrific with not a weak track among the 16 on offer. As you would expect from these two the CD is unashamedly traditional although having said that the arrangements are, without exception, creative and interesting.

The so-called trilogy of song listed as 4, 5 and 7 intrigued me. They are collectively labelled as The 'Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll Trilogy' and consist of 'The Riddle Song/Lovers Tasks(Sex)',' Five Gallon Jar (Drugs)' and 'One More Day/Shallow Brown (Rock and Roll)' . The first two are a tribute to American collector and educationalist John Langstaff, and the last two from the repertoire of John Short the famous 'Watchet Shanty Man'.

My favourites from the remainder are a version of 'Banks of the Nile' that I have never heard before and quite different from Sandy Denny's better known recording, and 'Love Farewell'. The latter is a song revived from a 1972 collection called Songs and Music of the Redcoats produced by Argo records.

I shouldn't let this review finish without mentioning the excellent concertina playing from both Keith and Sylvia that accompany many of these songs and the comprehensive and interesting insert notes that enhance the pleasure of listening.

Unqualified enthusiasm therefore for this album which would grace the collection of any lover of traditional music.