Another great review for Bob Askew’s CD, this time in Living Tradition.
‘This is an important release in English traditional music. I would like to think that curious listeners beyond the likely main target audiences would give it a try, but for those primary audiences (deep aficionados of Southern English song, and singers who are looking to refresh their ‘trad’ repertoire), this is probably an essential purchase.
The story behind the album was covered in LT124; suffice it to say that these are songs that were collected, but in the main not published, by Lucy Broadwood, from a singer named Patience Vaisey. Not all the songs on the CD are absolute rarities, but there were a number that I did not know, of which the following caught my ear especially: Oh Why Was I Born To Be Tormented So, When The Moon Stands On Tiptoe and Nothing Else To Do. Hopefully these songs will gain wider currency as a result of this release.
Most of the performances are solo unaccompanied – where instruments are used, their deployment is thoughtful and sometimes unexpected. Hearing When The Moon… sung with piano accompaniment is a thought-provoking allusion to how such songs may have been performed, once collected. We tend to think of folk song being taken ‘into the drawing-room’, but some songs might have made the opposite journey, as is suggested in the album booklet.
Three cheers for the singers / musicians involved (Annie Winter, Alison Frosdick, Anna Baldwin, Jack Burnaby) and to Bob Askew for his work on the project. It is a genuine delight that this material has been released in such a way.’