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WILLIAM PINT & FELICIA DALE "When I See Winter Return"
Waterbug WBG0039
WILLIAM PINT & FELICIA DALE "Round the Corner" Waterbug WBG0036

Two offerings from a duo based in America, I think, but who have visited these shores in recent years - I'm fairly certain I saw them at Fylde a few years ago. Felicia Dale plays hurdy-gurdy mostly, whilst William Pint provides guitar and mandolin. Both sing with William taking the lead. That's the bare bones ...

What we have here are two quite different albums and it is "When I See Winter Return" that I find the most interesting. This is a collection of wintry songs and tunes - not just carols - some familiar, some not so. The CD starts with Dave Goulder's "January Man", certainly a highlight, going straight into an excellent version of "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day". There's a wonderful evocative rendering of "The Trees Are All Bare", credited to the Coppers, but for me the outstanding track is "Over The Hill and Over The Dale". This uses beautiful and evocative images to tell of the journey of the Wise Men and is written by J.M. Neal (Which other carol is he responsible for?) I really don't like the round - great live though - and there's nothing new about "Auld Lang Syne". An album which, like a few other seasonal offerings, it will be a shame to put away until next year.

"Round The Corner" is far less enjoyable being much too fussy. Here Pint & Dale use a variety of guest musicians and it just doesn't work. Suffice to say the best two tracks are the simplest, both adaptations of nautical poet C.F. Smith's works. "The Tryphina's Extra Hand" is a great spooky story with William's atmospheric vocals superbly backed by Felicia's hurdy-gurdy and whistles.

Pint & Dale names to watch out for. "When I See Winter Return" an album to enjoy almost at any season.

Dave Beeby

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