A Review of the Hilary James & Simon Mayor CD
"Laughing With The Moon"
"Laughing With The Moon"Acoustics Records CDACS047
by Hilary James & Simon Mayor
This review is written by Dai Woosnam, email@example.com, 1/05
Simon Mayor doffs his cap to Hilary James before a note is played.Whereas I had always previously seen them
billed as “Simon Mayor & Hilary James”, here, not only does Hilary get
precedence, but Simon has the word “with” as a prefix to his name: thus almost
relegating him to the status of an accessory!
I jest to
a degree.He is of course Britain's foremost mandolin player on the
Folk Scene, and is generally considered to be amongst the top three British
exponents of the instrument in any genre.
although his mandolin, mandocello, mandola, fiddle and guitar work are as
always, impeccable in both their intelligent musicality and their outstanding
element of support for the vocals, the fact is that he leaves all lead vocals
to Hilary, and so in a very real way it is HER record.
she is a one-trick pony!Au
contraire.She is a rival to Simon in
the “multi-instrumentalist” game.Here
we see her playing guitar, double bass, mandobass and bass guitar!But it is her pellucid delivery of the
song lyrics that jump out at you from this record.
Simon Mayor has an almost clinical way with his playing – never any question of
duff or muffled notes: one always gets the impression he has washed his hands
in strong disinfectant before he picks up his instrument – Hilary James has the
warmest of voices: like she's a nurse who has abandoned “hospital tucks” to
spend time holding the hand of the patient.
that one just knows could easily adapt itself to a classical repertoire: but if
it ever did, there would never be any danger of her singing opera in that
affected way some of the lesser British opera singers adopt.Not to mince words, let me say that Hilary
could never sing like she had a feather stuck up her rear end.
album is a delightful mix of traditional ballad and instrumental. Not a weak track in evidence.The cuts that did it for me were that
splendid North American song “Shenandoah” (sung here as a lullaby); a
refreshingly faithful version of that old war-horse by Turlough O'Carolan,
“Carolan's Concerto”; and above all that fine traditional song “The Shearing's
Not For You”, which is one of those rare songs that are deeply affecting
WITHOUT them making any apparent deliberate assault on the listener's
buying.Obtainable by mail-order
worldwide.Enquire at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 1. The Dream (James) – 3.20
- 2. The Reel Thing (Mayor) – 2.03
- 3. The Shearing's Not For You (Trad) – 5.12
- 4. Hunt the Squirrel/Long Odds (Trad) – 3.22
- 5. Newcastle (Trad) – 3.04
- 6. Carolan's Concerto (O'Carolan) 1.56
- 7. Andrew Lammie (Trad) – 5.12
- 8. Hey! Johnny Cope/Athol Highlanders (Skirving/Trad) – 4.46
- 9. Fireflies (Mayor) – 2.51
- 10. Laughing With The Moon (James/Mayor) – 2.51
- 11.Shenandoah (Trad) - 5.09
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