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VARIOUS ARTISTS "The Alex Campbell Tribute" T records TCD007

It may seem strange to commend a CD in a review as "an important album" but in its ability to help people understand the ethos that was an essential base of the modern folk revival, this really is an important release. But we do not buy albums because they are "important" - we buy them to enjoy and this double CD, mastered from a Danish Radio recording of a tribute concert for Alex, oozes vitality and is immensely enjoyable.

Many people bemoan the fact that television - and to a lesser extent radio - has largely failed to capture the atmosphere of a good folk concert. The tribute concert programme lasted over four hours and Allan Taylor has lovingly edited it down to two hours for this CD. In doing so, he has captured the spirit of the event and has surely set a benchmark for live recordings of folk concerts.

To refer to the contributors to the event as "various artists" sounds almost insulting. Allan Taylor heads a cast of performers, many from Scotland who along with Alex himself, can claim much credit for inspiring the heart of the European folk revival alongside Scandinavian artists who now look to their own roots because of people like Alex.

This album will leave you educated with a small e, but will also leave you entertained, warmed and inspired. Anyone who knows Allan Taylor will appreciate his attention to detail and the quality that pervades whatever he does. I suspect that Allan would be proud to regard this as his finest work.

Pete Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 22 of The Living Tradition magazine.