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DAVY JONES & FRANK KAY "Byker Sunset" Faymus Recordings FRCD0198

Here we have a very welcome record from this enjoyable duo: Davy Jones with his rich vocals and Frank Kay's pleasing and subtle guitar.

The songs range from the traditional: "Farewell She" and "Bedlam" to show songs: "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" and "Pretty Babe". They are all well delivered though sometimes sound rather bland as in the case of Lester Simpson's "Standing in Line", or the traditional "Bedlam" which are songs of a deeper emotion than Davy puts across. Perhaps the fault lies with the pitching of the songs, which seems to be aimed at showcasing Davy's rich tones rather than stretching him to the emotional content of the song. However, that said this is still a pleasing record and for the most part the songs are well conveyed. Other songs such as "Where are you (Tonight I Wonder)"; "Hills of Isle Au Haut" and "The Bergen" benefit from this approach.

Frank Kay is also well represented by two (albeit short) instrumentals: "Powder Rag" and the title track "Byker Sunset". Frank's precise and delightful playing adds to the pleasure of "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" a tune well used by the 1940s jazz musicians but given a fresh approach here.

This CD is well worth investigation and is representative of Davy Jones and Frank Kay's live repertoire, although they do come across even better live.

Nick Caffrey

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This album was reviewed in Issue 34 of The Living Tradition magazine.