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ROY CLINGING - "Cheshire Born" - 101 Records RECCD08

Roy Clinging has put a lot of work into researching these songs and tunes from his home patch, and has produced good results. Some titles are familiar, 'Souling Song' and 'The Miller of Dee', others less so. Own up, have you ever heard 'The Unfortunate Loves of Thomas Clutterbuck and Polly Higginbotham' before? It's an amusing song set to the tune of 'The British Grenadiers' and top marks to Roy for handling the jaw-cracking task of singing it.

An album of localised songs such as this might not seem much of a prospect for people outside that area, but there is stuff here worth hearing. 'Young Bucks A-Hunting Go' is a version of 'The Fox Jumps Over the Farmer's Gate' that Peter Bellamy used to sing. 'The Rich Farmer in Cheshire' proves to be a well-known song of a highwayman and a spirited young heroine, familiar but still welcome, and again very well sung. Roy takes the lead singing role, with instrumentalists, Phil Hare, Catriona Thompson (guitar) and Sue Jones (fiddle), all working well. Mary Clinging, John Finnan and Dave Jenkins see to backing vocals in good style.

I see that the Cheshire County Council has had some input into the production of this album. All honour to them then, let others follow. Their county will get some good publicity, and Roy Clinging's fine voice and excellent phrasing will be heard more widely, which is a good thing.

Roy Harris

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This album was reviewed in Issue 35 of The Living Tradition magazine.