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KEVIN MITCHELL - "I Sang That Sweet Refrain" - Greentrax CDTRAX108

For some years now I've been wearing the grooves out of my Kevin Mitchell Topic album, circa '77, and hoping for more. It's been a long and tantalising wait, but everything comes ... and here it is.

Now that I have to set the review down, my stock of superlatives seems sadly inadequate. I love the way this man sings, the high voice, sweet but gripping, that holds the attention through the longest text. And the diction, don't forget the diction. Some of those auld come-all-ye's string words together like knitting but Kevin never drops a stitch. A world of praise too for Brian Miller and Charlie Soane, accompanists who never get in the way.

A review is supposed to be a critical appraisal, but I can't criticise. Kevin Mitchell's magic blows me away. He's in full flow, and full control, making "Granuaile" break the heart, and raising belly laughs with "The Rangy Ribs I Bought from Micky Doo". If you like your folk music to sound like rock or pop then this isn't for you. If you want to hear a master stylist illuminate and enhance the tradition he is singing from then this IS for you. Kevin Mitchell is one of the great singers. Many thanks to Greentrax for getting him back on record.

Roy Harris

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This album was reviewed in Issue 18 of The Living Tradition magazine.