A Review of the Various Artistes CD
"Transatlantic Folk Box Set"
"Transatlantic Folk Box Set"Sanctuary Midline SMETD137
by Various Artistes
This review is written by Dai Woosnam, email@example.com, 3/05
It is customary when reviewing a big
compilation album boxed set like this, to be slightly patronising and
suggest that it is an ideal primer for young Folkies who want a crash
course in those things that look like Frisbees but actually were called
“LPs”, and could produce (well, so dad says!) a sound a bit like a
Well, to heck with “custom”. This collection is an absolute must for
any Folkie from 9 to 99. It absolutely bowled me over, despite me being
the owner of many of the LPs from which the tracks are extracted.
Quite why it had the effect on me it did, is easy to explain. First, it
was so pleasing to hear these tracks without the surface hiss. And what
an astonishing number of tracks there are! An unbelievable SEVENTY. A
total running time of 3 hours 51 minutes. Talk about value for money…!
And if that was not enough, this handsome set has some quality liner
notes from David Wells. Really LITERATE notes that do not make any
concessions: well, just tell me if YOU have ever read a phrase like
“sturm und drang” outside the pages of The Gramophone Magazine, let
alone in a folk album's liner notes before?
Wells explains the birth, brief life and eventual demise of the
UK-based Transatlantic label. And golly, was it not some blazing meteor
while it lived! And it attracted the cream of British folk performers,
who are well represented here.
Of course the batting order is critical, as it is with all compilation
CDs. Quite often deliberate juxtapositioning helps: but often Old Ma
Serendipity does the trick. For instance, I would never
have thought of following Ralph McTell's “England 1914” with Leon
Rosselson's “The Rules of the Game”, but gosh the pairing works a
And what a delight it was to hear tracks genuinely new to me: where
could I have been to have missed Lea Nicholson's quirky “God Bless the
Unemployed”? I thought I'd known all his output.
And Matt McGinn's “Eternity Will Soon Be Over”? (Re this cut: can that
REALLY be him? His voice here sounds almost FEMININE: not an adjective
I would have immediately thought of, having been privileged to see him
once perform LIVE.)
I could write ten thousand words on this absorbing collection, but alas
“space restrictions” decree otherwise. So I will end by saying that
whilst this is by no means the first boxed set covering a ramble down
Folk's Memory Lane that I have reviewed in these pages, it is - by some
distance - the best.
Buy CD from www.sanctuaryrecordsgroup.co.uk
Info from firstname.lastname@example.org
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