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Too often I've been regaled with stories of "great sessions" that "went on for hours" and "just got better and better" of course "you should have been there" - but I wasn't. Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman are no strangers to singing sessions and great songs and this recording could well be the recorded highlights of some epic sessions.

The material is of a traditional style. Authorship of lyrics or tunes, where known, are attributed to Rudyard Kipling, A.E. Housman, Peter Bellamy, Tim Laycock, Bill Lowndes, Joe Wilson and of course the title track "Bonnet and Shawl" by Dave Webber himself. The songs listed as "Trad" however, to my ear, have a surer form and style than just a set of words drawn together by perchancity and repetition. "Row On", My Johnny", The Carter", "Waterloo" and in particular, "Rose in June" all have a strong sense of purpose and direction and sound to me to come from the tradition of the forgotten song writer. Thanks and rounds of applause to whomsoever it may concern.

The quality of the songs is matched by the performances of Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman. This is singing on a grand scale showing an understanding for the material and the nature of the tunes.

Peter Fairbairn

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This album was reviewed in Issue 29 of The Living Tradition magazine.