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Mike Palmer of What's Afoot

reviews Well Dressed by Keith Kendrick & Sylvia Needham

When I received this disc I realised that not only had I not seen them but I had not heard them either. (I should go out more!) Having now heard the album, I was delighted by their singing and playing. Keith and Sylvia both have superb voices, create great harmonies and have clear diction, a feature not always perfected by some singers. They are supported by a fine selection of accomplished musicians on a wide variety of instruments.

As for the songs themselves they are a great mix of traditional and local songs expertly performed by Keith and Sylvia. Being musicians themselves, (they play for Winster Morris) they throw in a couple of Morris Tunes to add variety to the collection. A couple of shanties from the singing of John Short who was collected by Cecil Sharp are included. My Favourite track? Probably Love Farewell which when recorded by John Tams around 2008 with the Band of Rifles to raise money for the help the heroes campaign, nearly made the charts. This is a great song from soldiers themselves. The Whitby Fisher Lad is another great track beautifully sung by Sylvia. The Spire the Aspired changes the mood and is a song about the crooked church spire in Chesterfield. There is also a song about well dressing which is a great local tradition in Derbyshire, hence the CDs' title Well Dressed.

In all there are sixteen tracks on this disc, the last one being Turtle Dove beautifully arranged by Jon Loomes. This is a fine alburn, well performed and produced, has a very informative booklet with it and will enhance most peoples collection of folk music. I liked it.