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Robin Williamson - Ring Dance
ROBIN WILLIAMSON "Gems of Celtic Story One" Pig's Whisker Music PWMD5007
ROBIN WILLIAMSON "Ring Dance" Pig's Whisker Music PWMD5008

I feel a bit inadequate trying to review "Gems". The tales are derived from early Welsh texts and are part of Arthurian legends. There's love, talking animals, stolen children, unrequited love, curses, but above all beautiful words. It's obviously a labour of love for Robin and this comes across as he shows how he is the master of this genre. Sympathetically accompanied on mostly harp, Robin moves easily from song to narrative, as the characters come to life. Lie back and let the words drift over you. My only doubt is how commercial it will be but it deserves to be heard, especially if you have an interest in story telling or legend. "Ring Dance" is a lot heavier musically, and in places, vocally. A dozen songs, all in Robin's "style" showing his class. They also show his uniqueness as a singer/storyteller. I'm not even going to try to pick out tracks, but I will say I found the story ever so sinister. The arrangements vary, even including an almost Cajun tune and echoes of a steel band. If you've been to one of his concerts, I'm sure you'll enjoy this as it compliments "Celtic airs" released last year.

A year ago I idly remarked that it was time to get some Incredible String Band/Robin Williamson - since then I've got hooked.

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 28 of The Living Tradition magazine.