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ROBIN WILLIAMSON "A Job of Journey Work" Pig's Whisker Music PWMD5010

Robin Williamson seems to have had plenty of CDs for us to enjoy over the last couple of years. Much of it has been re-releases and Incredible String Band back catalogue stuff. This though is Robin's first ever album of traditional music - and pretty interesting it is too. As you would expect from the master story teller, it's full of songs which tell a story. The Scot's influence is fairly strong too, but there's plenty of other influences here as well. The songs are mostly well known, dating back to his early days on the folk scene and are done in Robin's own inimitable style - but there are surprises there as well.

The amazing arrangements on "Hard Times of Old England" owe more to the Deighton Family than I would have expected, Robin being joined by his family. "Bold Riley" makes me smile, whilst "Riding Down To Portsmouth" is wonderful - I love the sound of his voice accompanied by the harp. "You've Lain Wrang "- a duet with Bina - reminds me of the great Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger (I've got quite a strange mind!!)

Unlike some solo albums this is not fussy, musical backing is sympathetic, and it's great to hear a new slant on these traditional songs. It's got a nice warm feel to it, the sound is excellent, as is the photography. "A Job Of Journey Work" is well worth a listen, in fact there's plenty to enjoy here - but I'm a fan so I would say that wouldn't I? Seriously though, worth having.

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 33 of The Living Tradition magazine.