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VARIOUS ARTISTS - The Transports TSCD45

This is a re-release on CD of one of the most ambitious music projects in the folk world at its time. Way, way back in 1977 Peter Bellamy, inspired by source material which he found in his local Norwich museum service, took the real-life story of Henry Cabell and Susannah Holmes, two of the people transported to Australia on the "First Fleet" of 1787, and wrote a folk opera within the style of the English tradition.

This is a re-release on CD of one of the most ambitious music projects in the folk world at its time. Way, way back in 1977 Peter Bellamy, inspired by source material which he found in his local Norwich museum service, took the real-life story of Henry Cabell and Susannah Holmes, two of the people transported to Australia on the "First Fleet" of 1787, and wrote a folk opera within the style of the English tradition.

A good test of new writing is how quickly it is taken up into the tradition, and I know that there are several of the songs which can be sung "out of context" without diminishing their standing. Indeed, I know of one singer who was convinced that the shanty "Roll Down" was Traditional!

It's a great shame indeed that Peter Bellamy is no longer with us, and this should stand out as a fine and fitting tribute to his memory.

Maggie MacRae

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This album was reviewed in Issue 1 of The Living Tradition magazine.