This review is written by Dai Woosnam, email@example.com, 5/08
I cannot remember how long it has been since we were
last blest with a new album from veteran British folk duo Graham &
Eileen Pratt. An age ago, certainly.
Not that they had totally disappeared from the recording scene: there have been two acclaimed CDs recorded with their “baby”, The Sheffield Folk Chorale, which Graham founded in 2001. An 80-strong choir, which performs Graham's 4-part arrangements of traditional songs and less familiar carols. A choir that has raised more than £12,000 for charity.
But golly, we have missed them as a duo. And here they are back with a new album: and they are back on top form. And on five tracks they are joined by Sue Burgess and Ron Taylor to re-form their a cappella group Regal Slip.
I think those five tracks shine like a beacon. They strike me as good a four part a cappella group as I have ever heard (and that includes The Watersons!)
But push me to choose my favourite tracks on the album, and they have to be the big solo ballads from Eileen. This truly gorgeous SOARING voice of hers finds the perfect match in the standout closing track “Lark In The Clear Air”. Her singing of this love song (with words from the pen of the early 19th century Irish poet and collector of airs, Sir Samuel Ferguson) is so sublime that should an Exaltation of Larks do their own version of it from my garden trees tomorrow, I will tell them that alas they have been beaten to it by a human.
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