A Review of the Simon Mayor & Hilary James CD
"Children's Favourites From Acoustics"

"Children's Favourites From Acoustics"
by Simon Mayor & Hilary James

(Acoustics Records: CDACS054)
Copyright: Acoustics 2005.

This review is written by Dai Woosnam, daigress@hotmail.com, 12/05

Here is a “Greatest Hits” from Mayor & James. This British duo has more than done their bit down the years to popularise classical music written for stringed instruments, especially the mandolin.

The duo also has a long tradition of recording albums aimed at children.

And they have particularly raided the back catalogue of those kids' CDs to come up with a fine selection that offers astonishing value as it delivers 1 hour and 13 minutes of music and comedy.

I have said in a previous review of their work that “they are ultra-talented, multi-instrumental musicians, and both are vocalists who can safely negotiate the minefield that an ostensibly simple lullaby can represent”. That holds true as much for this album as the previous one.

My favourite cuts were “A Magpie Sitting On A Broken Chair” (one of their own compositions), the traditional “Lavender's Blue”, Vivaldi's “Concerto for Mandolins ­ First Movement” and the blisteringly-good all-hands-to-the-instruments “Hornpipe from Handel's Water Music”.

The occasional comedy sketches are pretty good and relevant to the song that follows them, but I guess these sketches would register more with your average 8 year old than 80 year old.

But the songs and instrumentals will register with ALL of us.


Obtainable by mail-order worldwide. Enquire at this address: mail@acousticsrecords.co.uk

Dai Woosnam
Grimsby, England

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