Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Maddy Prior, The Carnival Band|
Carols & Capers
Genres: Folk, World Music, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
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An excellent CD
Richard Goodman | Portsmouth, Va | 03/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're a fan of the English folk-rock band Steeleye Span, then you're already familiar with Maddy Prior's compelling voice and exquisite musical taste. No one can rival her for the quality and range of her extensive repertoire.In her work with Steeleye Span, her solo projects, her two incredible CDs of duets with June Tabor, and her collaboration with the Carnival Band, Ms. Prior has seldom put a foot wrong. She sings with power, grace, and passion--and without a trace of pretension or artifice.Her respect for traditional music is tempered by a thoroughly modern sensibility. She is never afraid to experiment, to place worthy old songs in fresh new contexts. Songs are living things--they must change or die. Maddy Prior has enjoyed a long and vigorous career giving new life to the old songs she loves, making them accessible to new audiences. She can make a medieval ballad sound like it was written yesterday. Conversely, she can infuse a contemporary work with an ageless and timeless gravitas.She is more than simply a great singer--she is a great craftswoman and artist.Any song that is treasured and handed down from generation to generation is by definition a folk song. Christmas is thus the time of year when folk songs come into their own. Ms. Prior is uniquely qualified to engage, transform, and celebrate traditional Christmas music.In this album, she is accompanied by the Carnival Band, whse eclecticism can best be described by the instruments they play. The band consists of Andy Watts (shawm, curtal, clarinets, recorders, Brueghel bagpipes); Giles Lewin (shawm, fiddle, recorders, medieval bagpipes, tin whistle); Bill Badley (acoustic and electric guitars, lute, mandolin, banjo); Jub (bass); and Raf Mizraki (drums, percussion, bells, 'cello). All except Jub sing. Andrew Watts arranged most of the pieces.This is a spectacular band, tight enough to play freely and good enough to make their artistry seems effortless. Their approach to the music blends perfectly with Ms. Prior's.They're all having a lot of fun, making a joyful noise, and it sounds from the audience response like they're putting on a fine show.They mix the old and new provocatively and winsomely. The choice of songs includes familiar favorites and a goodly number of little known pieces that will soon become your favorites.An excellent CD."
Christmas long ago = brilliantly revived
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 11/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maddy has long been an important figure in the British folk music scene, whether as lead singer of Steeleye Span, as a solo singer or (as on this album) with The carnival band, who specialise in medieval and other traditional music.This collection of Christmas music is not a typical Christmas album - it draws heavily on old and largely forgotten songs. The range of instruments used is as unusual as the songs - they even include recorders. I thought recorders were just use to teach children to learn to play an instrument - but here they are.First the familiar - there are three songs here which will be instantly recognisable to everybody - Away in a manger, Joy to the world and I saw three ships. While shepherds watched is a standard in Britain. The melody is different to the one I'm familiar with but I read somewhere that there are many different arrangements of this song. I'm not sure about it's status in America - it rarely appears on American Christmas albums (though it does occasionally). You might also recognise the instrumental Old Joe Clark.Of the other songs, See amid the winter's snow occasionally appears on a conventional Christmas album (Julie Andrews recorded a lovely version in 1982) but I can't remember hearing any of the other songs on such albums.The songs all appear to have been written between the 16th and 19th centuries and it may be that some were more famous then than now. However, they are all immensely enjoyable and it's great to be reminded of times long ago.This is an album that took me a while to get used to, precisely because it is SO different, but it's been well worth it."