Kathy & Bob Drage of The Living Tradition
reviews Dumnonia by Jim CausleyDumnonia the ancient home of the Dumnonii, who lived in what is now known as the county of Devon. Jim makes no apology, nor should he, for only including Devonshire songs, albeit the less well known ones. Jim has the kind of voice that suits all types of songs, be they happy or sad. The overall impression of the CD is joy and vivacity, although it does have its more reflective moments.
Little Ball Of Yarn is collated from several sources. Old Uncle Whiteway, also called Cycler Cure is collected from John Shepherd the "mayor" of Whimple. Royal Comrade, a localised version of Lakes Of Coolphin is a Romany song from Amy Birch. She is the foremost exponent of the English traveller style of singing. Tamar Valley Requiem tells the story of the loss of the tin mining industry. Sidbury To Stockland Set is full of feel good music. The Tythe Pig has notes that refer to Sabine Baring Gould's book about werewolves. The CD finishes with Wailey Wailer or The Whimple Carol a lovely example of indigenous and Christian religions walking hand in hand.
Joined on some tracks by fellow Wildgoose stable mates Jeff Gillett, Nick Wyke, Becki Driscoll their contributions all compliment Jim's accordion playing. The cover design, which is excellent, has been created by Karen Cater of Hedingham Fair.
A friend remarked that this is the best CD he has heard for years and played in four times in the space of a few hours. It does become addictive listening, simply because of the joyfulness of the sound. A brilliant piece of work from one of England's finest singers.