You are here: Albums > Display Review

Steve Jones of Tykes News

reviews Heirlooms by Chris Sarjeant

Boy but this country boy can play! Chris has evidently absorbed British traditional music through the skin from folk singing parents, Derek Sarjeant and Hazel King, and now brings a freshness and energy as well as consummate musicianship to that repertoire supported on this CD by the likes of Vicki Swan and Johnny Dyer. Chris's guitar playing lies on an artistic ley line that clearly passes through Carthy and Nic Jones. His considerable flair is ably demonstrated on a couple of guitar tune sets which establish him (in a world full of great guitarists) squarely amongst the upper echelons of players.

He has a fine voice and presents a choice selection of songs. Citing sources like Bellamy, and Hart & Prior, he delightfully rediscovers some great material, like the rather enigmatic Streams of Lovely Nancy and the Coast of Barbary. He travels from the sublime to the flagrant, with curious references to mowing meadows and sowing wanton seeds. The arrangements are tastefully controlled, subtle and colourful. I love his arrangement of Bay of Biscay, which has shades of John Martin/Danny Thompson about it with some glorious bowed double bass.

This debut album is an absolute cracker from a musician who clearly 'gets' the English traditional folk scene and has talent in bushels. I unreservedly commend it to you. Watch out for Chris...