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20 Feb. 2011 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 20 Feb. 2011
  • Release Date: 20 Feb. 2011
  • Label: Topic
  • Copyright: 2011 Topic Records Ltd
  • Total Length: 1:09:11
  • Genres:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,207 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. TIMMERMAN on 19 July 2011
Format: Audio CD
June Tabor's latest album Ashore is another fine collection of ballads and street songs old and new, mostly from UK with a couple from France for good measure (not especially memorable though). It's a concept album, a celebration of the sea, for which June has a fascination, despite being born in the Midlands (and now living on a farm in Wales).

The album mostly has a slow, ruminative quality, not unusual for June. Some of the song topics are indeed bleak ones - death, drowning, parting, war, cannibalism, emigration, bitter weather etc. With minimal accompaniment by Andy Cutting on accordion, her partner Mark Emerson on violin and viola, Tim Harries on double bass and Huw Warren on piano, June's deep warm voice is well set off, aided by a very realistic recording. There is one a cappella track, The Bleacher Lassie of Kelvinaugh, and there are two instrumentals on accordion, a lyrical Jamaica (from Playford's Dancing Master of 1670) and a lilting I'll Go And Enlist For A Sailor (used as Morris dance tune). The album begins with a moody Finisterre, a 1989 song from the Oyster Band of which June was a member. Two songs are by Cyril Tawney, the lovely Grey Funnel Line, and Oggie Man, a dreamy yet deep yarn about a dockyard pasty-seller. Elvis Costello's Shipbuilding aches so much it becomes a little dreary, while the traditional Great Selkie of Sule Kerry is rendered very intimately, as if she is just having a conversation with the listener. After all, it is quite a narrative. In the traditional Brean Lament, some of which is spoken, one quickly feels the sadness of a sailors' graveyard. The album finishes with a lengthy evocative Across The Wide Ocean, from Les Barker's traditionally-based opera The Stones of Callanish about the Highland Clearances of the 19th century.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joyce on 21 April 2011
Format: MP3 Download
I always wait for a new album from June with intense anticipation and high expectations. She hasn't disappointed with this haunting album. The opening track, "Finisterre" is just over 6 minutes of June's wonderful rich voice weaving images of the space between sea and land. There are no hard edges or intrusive notes here. The song comes back to me in quiet moments and I'm driven to hear again June's mystical evocation of somewhere just out of sight, off the edge of the world.

"The Bleacher Lassie of Kelvinhaugh" is a simple, unaccompanied ballad where June's vocal technique and quality of storytelling carries the listener entranced through the tale. Huw Warren's perfect trickling piano notes introduce the next track "The grey funnel line" and the spell continues unbroken. June's singing is exquisite and as usual, I was so drawn into the song that only on reflection do I actually stop to marvel at her range of sweetness between top notes and her deep, caramel bathing tone in the alto range. "Le Vingt-Cinquieme du Mois D'Octobre" is a playful, dancing voyage of sound, showcasing June's ease in delivering delightful music in any language and tradition.

Elvis Costello's "Shipbuilding" doesn't seem a likely choice, other than for its sea theme, on a superficial glance at the track listing. I have loved Elvis Costello's own rendition, as well as Robert Wyatt's splendid interpretation. June's not only stands comparison, but adds a new element of poignant wisdom to her interpretation that is moving indeed. Her choices and bold risks are a delight and a triumph here.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By The Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Let's be very clear. June Tabor has one of the finest voices
on the planet. No ifs, no buts - it is a magnificent instrument!
It is a voice which has become better and better with time.
Deeper; more rounded; exquisite; Autumnal, as befits her status
as a Grande Dame of British folk music. An unimpeachable talent.

Her new album 'Ashore' is simply beautiful and utterly indispensable.
The thirteen tracks in the collection are all wonderful examples of
the skill and sensitivity which have always defined Mme Tabor's work.
There is a complete absence of affectation and unnecessary decoration
in her performances. A voice at ease with itself and the world.

Huw Warren/piano; Mark Emerson/violin and viola; Andy Cutting/accordion
and Tim Harries/double bass, intuitively understand just what is needed
from them to bring these glorious songs to life. Nothing more or less.
(Their two instrumental showcases, 'Jamaica' and 'I'll Go and Enlist
For A Sailor', are deftly delivered and delightful!)

It is impossible to deconstruct such a wonderful bunch of songs and to
even begin to believe that we might consider one better than the other.
They're all good. Good?! Oh I'm not doing very well here! This truly
is one of the very best recordings I have heard in my life thus-far!

Just witness the joyous rendition of 'Le Vingt-Cinquieme du Mois D'Octobre'.
The effortless dynamic control of rhythm, tone and expression. Peerless!

The profoundly concentrated acappela performance of 'The Bleacher
Lassie of Kelvinhaugh' is another wonder! A profoundly tender vision.
Likewise the deeply moving human tale of loss and longing in 'Shipbuilding'.
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