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Roy Harris of Taplas

reviews Short Sharp Shanties Vol. 3 by Collected from John Short

HOW'S this for a cast? Jim Mageean, Jeff Warner, Keith Kendrick, Jackie Oates, Roger Watson, Sam Lee, Brian Willoughby, Tom Brown, Barbara Brown, Doug Bailey. A lively crew, who make the most of the opportunities given them on this album subtitled Sea Songs of a Watchet Sailor.

John Short (1839 1933) a sailor for over 50 years gave Cecil Sharp close to 60 shanties in 1914.Tom and Barbara Brown became interested and realised the songs were well worth bringing back to life. Wild Goose Records boss Doug Bailey agreed and a series of albums was launched, of which this is the last. Short's versions date from a long way back, so while the title may seem familiar, the tunes and some of the words are significantly different to their namesakes.

I can't recommend this too highly. The producers have given the singers free rein to make their own arrangements. The results are surprising and pleasing in equal measure throughout.