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BETSY RENALS, CHARLOTTE RENALS, & SOPHIE LEGG.
Catch Me If You Can Veteran VT119CD

Back in the 1970s Pete Coe asked Cornish singer Vic Legg for the source of some his unusual songs. Vic answered "From Mother, and my two Aunties". Pete eventually recorded Mum and the Aunties for a cassette issued by Veteran Tapes; now known as 'Veteran'. Veteran lately started a policy of bringing back-catalogue tapes onto CD, hence this very welcome release.

Sophie Legg was 60 at the time of recording. Betsy and Charlotte were 78 and 77 respectively. As daughters of the well-known Orchard family of travellers they led a life in which singing, music making, and dancing were everyday pastimes. Like most travellers, and most traditional singers in fact, their repertoire spans a range wherein comic songs and tear-jerkers, stand alongside ballads found in the folk collections. They sing with total enjoyment and lack of inhibition. Charlotte gets the giggles at the end of 'The Crabfish', just the way you should, while Sophie ends 'Thorneymoor Woods' with the line 'That damned old Judge can kiss my arse'.

They also do full justice to ballads like 'Lord Lovell', and 'Van Diemans Land', and although there are familiar titles included they are not always in familiar versions, making interesting and enjoyable listening. The biographical notes and vintage photographs ('Young Victor' looks just like his Mum) add to a production we can all delight in.

Roy Harris

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This album was reviewed in Issue 53 of The Living Tradition magazine.