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ROY CLINGING & NEIL BROOKES Another Round

ROY CLINGING & NEIL BROOKES
Another Round
Wildgoose WGS 331CD

Roy Clinging is a man who has built a solid reputation as a soloist but he rings a change here by bringing in a partner, fiddle player Neil Brookes. I don't know whether this change is for the album only or a new direction for live work. Maybe the latter, for Wildgoose describes it as "a new and exciting partnership" and to be sure, the music on offer certainly swings along with concertina, guitar, and fiddle combining well whether backing up the voice or in the instrumental medleys.

I've always liked Clinging's way with a song. He chooses things with good tales to tell and has the nous to let those tales reveal themselves through straightforward but expressive use of his robustly melodious voice. For a good example listen to 'The Rambling Royal' a song about a Royal Marines deserter. I know this from the singing of the great A.L.Lloyd who gave its bombastic text a thorough workout. Clinging does the same, throwing the words out with obvious relish. How nice to hear someone who sings the sense of a song.

We expect to hear some Cheshire-based music from Roy Clinging and sure enough he opens with the self-collected 'Cheshire May Song', telling us in the booklet notes that songs like this one "were usually sung in April". The Cheshire theme continues with the tune 'Cheshire Rounds', and the Neil Brookes composition 'Another Round'. The zestful 'Bold Lovell', a favourite of mine, and the chilling 'Andrew Rose' typify the choice of material here. All Good Stuff, well handled by two very good musicians in an album that brings credit to them, and to Wildgoose Records.

Roy Harris

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This album was reviewed in Issue 68 of The Living Tradition magazine.