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CARREG LAFAR "Hyn" Sain Recordings SCD2205

I really enjoyed listening to this CD. A great Welsh band making a name for themselves - worldwide. The last time I saw this band, the venue didn't do them any justice on an outdoor stage in wild wet Welsh (July!) weather.

A regular helping of traditional songs and tunes with marvellous arrangements and themes. The songs are conveyed in both traditional and contemporary harmonies. "Hen Ferchetan" (the Old Spinster) tells the story of how Lisa Fach from Hendre loses her love and can't find another. "There will be anew potatoes on apple trees before Lisa will be married". It's sung with the passion, determination and the urgency required in this song, which finally gets Lisa her man in Bala Fair. "Mari Lwyd" (the Grey Mare) is a song traditionally sung on New Year's Eve by a party wishing to enter a tavern! The Mari Lwyd is a horse's skull decorated with a sheet and ribbons. The close harmonies are demonstrative of the old Welsh oral practices. Groups giving better performances, where allowed to enter the tavern.

"Dau Rosyn Coch" (Two Red Roses) has a wonderful arrangement using tunes in a Breton style repetition then ... woosh, into the song about a poor young girl who is asked for her hand by a gentleman. When she explains that she has no dowry, he changes his mind, however, she retorts with "I didn't ask you, o sir!"

The instrumental tracks such as "Afon yr Haf" (The Summer River) and "Llef Harlech/Aberdulais" (Harlech's Cry/Aberdulais) are performed beautifully with sensitive arrangements between flute, fiddle, percussion, guitar and Welsh bagpipes ... (yes - we've got them too!)

Overall a well arranged, well produced CD. A fine example of Welsh Folk Music at its best, and one I'd recommend to anyone.

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This album was reviewed in Issue 31 of The Living Tradition magazine.