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BOB HART "A Broadside" Musical Traditions MTCD3012

Forty-six tracks on two CDs. At any price this double CD package would be a bargain.

They provide an unsurpassed example of a traditional singers repertoire - warts and all, for some of the tracks might be less than acceptable to some. Many of the folksong standards are there - Barbara Allen, The Bold Princes Royal, The Foggy Dew etc - but also included are songs such as - The Miners Dream Of Home, Silver Threads Among The Gold, Let The Rest Of The World Go By and so on. It has to be accepted that these latter songs are as much part of Bob Hart, and many other traditional singers, as the more traditional folk offerings.

The CDs are supplemented by extensive notes giving background information on Bob Hart, how and why he learnt the songs he sings and gives some pointers for further reading. Perhaps a worthwhile inclusion would have been the text of the songs but this would have increased the work and enlarged the size of the package, and what do you want for fifteen quid.

Bob Hart's singing grows on you. Like many other traditional singers their full worth is only granted to you by repeated listening to their singing over a period of time. It would be wrong to nominate a favourite track from amongst the 46 presented here. Buy it and choose your own favourite(s).

Part of the blurb on the cover of the CD states "This Musical Traditions CD is conceived with the intention of bringing music which might never achieve a commercial publication to the small audience which values it." This they have achieved marvelously with this production. When is the next one coming out?

Bob Blair

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This album was reviewed in Issue 32 of The Living Tradition magazine.