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ROY BAILEY - "New Directions in the Old" - Fuse CFCD402

Roy is a skilled interpreter of traditional songs and yet performs almost exclusively contemporary material. He headlined a concert at the National Festival at Sutton Bonnington, a festival focussed firmly in the tradition, and held the audience enthralled for an hour without singing a single traditional song.

The secrets to this are his skill in performance, you listen to the words, and his judgement in choosing good songs from writers themselves firmly rooted in the tradition.

There is one traditional song on this album, an eleven minute rendition of "The Lass of Lochroyan", one of many versions and titles, which doesn't sound at all out of place with the other songs from writers including Alastair Hulett, Ray Hearne, Robb Johnson, Leon Rosselson and Colum Sands. Hopefully Roy's championing of these writers will result in people seeking out more of their work.

The other remarkable aspect of this album is Roy's use of some of the crop of young traditional musicians who sound totally in sympathy with the songs and the performance.

This is an album from a man who served his musical apprenticeship years ago and is in total command of his trade. Surely the pinnacle of his recording out put to date - a musical masterpiece from a master craftsman.

Pete Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 22 of The Living Tradition magazine.