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LIZ LAW & TERRY CONWAY - Of Riots and Rabbits

LIZ LAW & TERRY CONWAY - Of Riots and Rabbits
Stonehouse Music SHMCD02

Law and Conway are new names to me so I put this CD on with no idea that I was about to hear one of the best singers I’ve heard in a long while.  Terry Conway has a strong and expressive voice with range and tone that makes the ears perk up.  He attacks his songs with great conviction getting unerringly to the heart of the subject matter being it dramatic, sad, or humorous.  He can sing rhythmically straightforward stuff or decorate unmeasured melodies with equal ease.  He can sing with backing or without, with similar ease.  It’s my loss that I haven’t heard him, or of him, before, but now that I have I can recommend him to anyone.  I give this praise with no disrespect to Liz Law, whose dulcimer playing and chorus singing is invaluable to the overall sound.  Kathyn Tickell adds Northumbrian pipes and fiddle to fine effect, as does harp player Julie-Ann Morrison.

Six of the fourteen songs are Conway originals, including the Saga of Timothy Rabbit, written for the son of a friend and showing a sense of humour seen later in Cowboy Song a Country Western pastiche to make the sides ache.  Of the traditional songs Hobie Nobl’ and The Death of Parcy Reed are rarely heard Border Ballads, stirringly sung.  The Baron of Brackley is one I remember being passionately belted out by Nigel Denver; Conway’s version matches it in intensity.  I must also commend his singing of the Napoleonic song Green Linnet and his own Walls of Troy, and The Hexham Riot the latter written with Liz Law.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this album; it’s a treat to listen to.  Look out for Law & Conway if they come your way.

Roy Harris

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This album was reviewed in Issue 82 of The Living Tradition magazine.