Great album! Definitely one of Peter Bellamy's finest - I think I am right in saying that this is the first of PB's "Kipling albums" & what a cracker it is! It is described on the back cover of the LP as a collection of songs by Rudyard Kipling but of course the music is all Peter Bellamy's (though drawing, as always, on his extensive knowledge of traditional music forms) From the opening call & response of "Frankie's Trade", through the wonderful sparseness of "Poor Honest Men" & "Cold Iron" on to the haunting & beautiful "Sir Richard's Song" every song is a treat & then on to the unaccompanied "The Looking Glass" & echoes of The Young Tradition with the title track - the wonderful "Oak & Ash & Thorn" then "King Henry VII and the Shipwrights" (sung to the familiar tune of "Rounding The Horn" or "The Gallant Frigate Amphitrite" if you prefer) & with Barry Dransfield providing a perfect fiddle accompaniment. "Brookland Road" is another unaccompanied song - there's not many singers that I enjoy listening to unaccompanied but Peter Bellamy is one of the few - "A Three Part Song" exactly that in more ways than one, is described as "A simple hymn in praise of Sussex". "The Ballad of Minepit Shaw" sees Peter accompanying himself on guitar for the second time on the album. Then "Our Fathers Of Old" is the last unaccompanied song & the final song, "Philidelphia" sees PB accompanying himself wonderfully on his trusty concertina. English folk music doesn't come much better than this & it is a shame to think that Peter Bellamy was somewhat shunned (& misunderstood) by many in the folk community towards the end of his life, & by all accounts, found it hard to find anywhere to play. Genius is probably too strong a word (& certainly over-used these days) but it's hard to see how this album could have been made any better & imho it comes close to being a somewhat neglected masterpiece.