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ANNE BRIGGS - "Sing A Song For You" - Fledg'ling Music FLED3008

Anne Briggs rejected this when it was first recorded in the 1970's, feeling that the singing was "unsatisfactory". A rather too stern decision to my ears, but Anne was always keenly self critical and she had the courage of her convictions. Would that I had been so brave with a couple of my records.

To those used to thinking of Anne Briggs as an unaccompanied singer will be surprised to hear her playing bouzouki on "Hills of Greenmoor" and other tracks. It wasn't an easy job, as she was pregnant at the time. She comments wryly in the booklet that with the instrument's convex back, and her convex front, her arms seemed barely long enough to reach the fingerboard.

Other instrumentation comes from Steve Ashley's "Ragged Robin", Barry Dransfield puts in an appearance too. Anne's celebrated "Sullivans John" goes well with backing, but with all due respects it's still her unaccompanied stuff that takes the prizes. "Bird in the Bush" and "Sovay" for example.

No matter what Anne's own reservations were, many folk will be glad to see this come out of hiding, especially as she herself comes out to sing in public so rarely. A woman who gains accolades from Lal and Norma Waterson has much to offer and could be a strong influence on some of today's female singers.

Roy Harris

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This album was reviewed in Issue 20 of The Living Tradition magazine.