Dai Jeffries of R2
reviews Dumnonia by Jim CausleyAfter his adventures with Mawkin:Causley, Jim has returned to his Devon roots with an album of predominantly traditional
material from his native county.
He has consciously avoided the really obvious songs but much will be familiar even though the versions may be new. 'The Earl Of Totnes', for example, is very different from the Dransfields' take and 'Royal Comrade' is known by many titles and even more variants. Two songs are by Cyril Tawney and one by Martin Graebe, almost as specific and local as the traditional ones, and Jim contributes a tune for 'Larkbeare'.
With a supporting cast of local musicians and singers including members of The Dartmoor Pixie Band and Tom and Barbara Brown there's a jolly, almost homespun feeling to much of the record. 'Little Ball O'Yarn' evokes memories of The Yetties while the waltz time version of 'She Moved Through The Fair' is straight from the tradition of the Traveller community. 'When I Was Young' is a delightful song I haven't heard before and practically a gazetteer of Devon.
I imagine that some critics will turn their noses up at the back to basics style of Dumnonia. Ignore them. This is where the roots of folk music remain.