A Review of the Stitherum CD

by Stitherum

Copyright Stitherum, 2004.
website: http://www.angelfire.com/folk/gainsboroughfolk
email: mandsd@yahoo.com

This review is written by Dai Woosnam, daigress@hotmail.com, 10/04

Stitherum are Sue & Mike Dewsbury, a husband-and-wife duo originating from the Robin Hood area of England. But they have moved from their native Nottinghamshire over the border into neighbouring Lincolnshire: just like dear old Robin, resplendent in his clothes of Lincoln green, escaping the cruel Sheriff of Nottingham.

Now the two are the mainstay of the Gainsborough (Lincolnshire) folk scene: organising the local club and also the very successful “new kid on the festival block”, The Gainsborough Folk Festival, which has just celebrated its fifth year.

“Stitherum” is a local dialect word for ”rigmarole”: though in truth, it is not the most apposite of names. You see, NOTHING is less of a rigmarole than Stitherum in performance. They are simplicity personified.

Sue delivers her songs in a pleasant voice, whilst husband Mike is her non-singing instrumental accompanist. I salute her for her choice and her delivery of the songs on this album. The songs are well above the run-of-the-mill: most are by acclaimed writers, but two are by herself.

Let me strike that “but”: the fact is that Sue too is now an acclaimed writer (of sorts), having won the “BBC Write a Folk Song For Lincolnshire Competition” in 2003.

This is an above-average album. Mike's guitar and mandola playing is typically generous: he makes room for the singer, as any good accompanist should. And her singing is positive and strong. As befits a teacher, there is something didactic in the tone of voice, and this I guess to some is an acquired taste.

There is an all-too-short glimpse of her major talent: she is a harmony singer to die for! Pity she did not do harmonic overdubs on every track.

There are lots of very good songs here, but no great ones. (Pity she did not do the marvellous “High Part of the Town” from the Jez Lowe songbook, which is in her repertoire.)

This woman is also singing songs well within her vocal and emotional range.

She has the talent to stretch herself more on both counts. And that said, I can still safely say that this is an album well-worth the purchasing.

To buy, write to Sue at: mandsd@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.angelfire.com/folk/gainsboroughfolk

Dai Woosnam
Grimsby, England

Track List: no timings shown

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