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VARIOUS ARTISTS Evolving Tradition 4 - Generations MCRCD4002.

If you have heard any of the previous three CDs in the Evolving Tradition series you won't need any persuading to give this a listen, but whereas the first three concentrated on the upcoming generation of musicians and singers, this, as the title suggests, has the older generation from the revival of the sixties and seventies combined with their progeny. And very interesting it is too! A generation that has grown-up listening to traditional music at home, in clubs, and at festivals, has developed a similar love of it to that of their parents.

The opening track, 'The Bonnie Lass of Bon Accord', features the squeezer supreme, John Kirkpatrick, with a tune he learned from his father, and it is followed by John with son Benjii on 'Toxic Haze', one of Benjii's own compositions. Naturally the first family of folk are here, with three tracks featuring one or more of Waterson:Carthy, plus Lal's 'A Sweet Lullaby' performed by her daughter Maria Gilhooley, and son Oliver Knight with Chris Parkinson. Another family gathering is found on 'Dear Mary' - Linda Thompson with Richard, Kamila, and Teddy, and elsewhere there is a story from Taffy Thomas combined with John Tams' 'Snowfall', performed by Aimee Thomas and brother Sam. Australia's Fagan family do 'The Factory Lad' and the Doonan's, with the late John Doonan, are also here with 'Gypsy Davy'. There are two pairings of mother and daughter - Chris and Kellie While on 'Talk to Me of Mendecino', and Sandra and Nancy Kerr with 'The Lion's Den', plus two tracks from a mother and son, Sara Grey and Kieron Means.

Overall this is a really excellent CD, which, besides providing over seventy-five minutes of listening pleasure, is also stimulating, and thought provoking. It is another fine album in this excellent ongoing series of recordings, and with a further CD promised for 2005 - it looks like this pleasure is set to continue.

Mel Howley

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This album was reviewed in Issue 60 of The Living Tradition magazine.