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BEGGAR'S VELVET "Lady of Autumn" Old and New Tradition ONTCD2001

Where does time go? The year 1990 seems so recent and yet all I can remember is having double-glazing put in and then, out of the blue, preparing to move house. Anyway, 1990 was also the original release of, "Lady of Autumn" on LP format. There are a couple of photos on the CD cover of the group from that time and while the ladies appear in a manner which would not look out of place to-day, the gentlemen are in white jackets, bow ties and panama hats !! Well was that ever cool, or ever folkie? However, just like the ladies' fashion, the songs on "Lady of Autumn" still fit comfortably and have a great sense of style.

The band - Beggars Velvet (1985 - 1993) - were Anni Fentiman, Dave Webber, Cathy Yarwood and Charley Yarwood; all great singers, as can be heard on this CD. A very traditional sounding CD too, although only four of the thirteen songs have any measure of traditional heritage. The others are from the writing of John Tams, Rudyard Kipling via Peter Bellamy, Pete Mundy and from Dave Webber himself. Fine songs too, with "Rolling Home", "Watch and Chain", "Oak and Ash and Thorn", "Flanders" and "Parting Song" adding to the fine and varied programme.

This is strong, head back and fill the room stuff. Join in by all means but listen closely as well. Listen to how the words fit the tunes, listen to the voices fitting those words to those tunes. Singing really is an art.

Peter Fairbairn.

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This album was reviewed in Issue 42 of The Living Tradition magazine.