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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Gem From Waterson:Carthy
always look forward to a new Waterson:Carthy recording because I love the genre of music they choose to record and I `m a big fan of their interpretive styles, skills and sound.

Their latest release, "Holy Heathens and The Old Green Man", is obviously a "Christmas' recording, but I use the word "Christmas" here with hesitation because the overall impression...
Published on 5 Dec. 2006 by Thomas H. Moody

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5 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I must have missed the point
I know that everyone has their style but I came to the folk genre via Coope Boyes and Simpson and so I would urge those people who have given this CD rave reviews to buy 'What we sing is what we are' and you will understand why I found Holy Heathens such a disappointment. The vocal quality was poor in comparison and none of my nerves tingled.Hey ho!
Published on 20 July 2007 by A. Simpson


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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Gem From Waterson:Carthy, 5 Dec. 2006
By 
Thomas H. Moody "Music Enthusiast" (Nobleboro, ME United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
always look forward to a new Waterson:Carthy recording because I love the genre of music they choose to record and I `m a big fan of their interpretive styles, skills and sound.

Their latest release, "Holy Heathens and The Old Green Man", is obviously a "Christmas' recording, but I use the word "Christmas" here with hesitation because the overall impression left by the work is much more expansive than the singlular idea of Christmas day. In the world of Waterson:Carthy, this time of year is time to have some merriment, some spiritual reflection, a look at one's moral compass, and to partake in some darn good music!

The choice of material is (as usual for this gang) truly inspired and it's hard to pick favorites. Martin Cathy's take on the unusual "Christ Made A Trance" and Eliza Carthy's reading of her uncle Mike Waterson's "Jack Frost" are two tracks that leave big impressions. Also Norma's leading of the troupe in the opening "Residue" makes for a grand entrance.

Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson have always appeared to be generous to those younger musicians following in their footsteps and it's never shown more clearly than here. Tim Van Eycken, who has been part of their group for the last few years, makes his farewell performance with them here. (He released a wonderful solo album just a few months ago.) His performance of "On Christmas Day It Happened So" is another high point of the recording. Van Eyken delivers this bleak, blunt song in a manner reminiscent of June Tabor's approach to this kind of piece - placing sentimentality in back of the notion of letting the story and song speak for itself.

Waterson:Carthy also introduce the trio The Devil's Interval into their fold for this recording. (The Devil's Trio didn't just appeared out of nowhere. They've recorded some well-done group and solo projects.) Their added voices give a new heft to the ensemble singing and they're given some prominence in some numbers as well. (Keep your eyes - and ears - on Jim Causley. He may have a nice career ahead of him in this early repertoire if he chooses.) They particularly leave a mark on the lovely "The Falling Tear" (or, as its more often called, "When Jesus Wept") by the late 18th century American hymnist/composer William Billings of Boston. This is certainly one of Billings more beautiful melodies (along with his "Africa") and the group does a fine job with it. (Boston, and New England in general, was a hotbed of the early American hymn in the late 18th century. This group of composers was the forerunners of the Sacred Harp school. Some may argue that assertion, but....)

Here one will also find some "Christmas songs" that they think they know, such as "While Shepherds Watched" and "The Cherry Tree Carol", but will find them much transfigured and exposed as to how they were probably tossed about in the old days. There's also a great performance of "Diadem" here that strips the piece of its "churchiness" and gives it back it earthy quality. It gave me goose bumps when I heard it!

Another American hymnist is tapped into for the closing. Ira D. Sankey's "Gloryland, led by Eliza, is not simply lovely, it's downright inspirational in its directness. Sankey, who could compose some lovely hymns (as well as his share of maudlin ones), is at his best here. "Gloryland" is not a well-known composition of his, but after hearing Waterson:Carthy's take on it, I imagine there will be people searching it out.

Anyway, if you love good music without pretense, schmaltz, or over production, then treat yourself this season to "Holy Heathens and The Old Green Man."
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The very best!, 15 Dec. 2006
By 
You have to buy this album for 1 reason amongst others!

Gloryland (track 17):

There is a land beyond the stars

Glory land, Bright Glory land

Beyond the sunset's crimson bars

Glory land, Bright Glory land

A Land of Peace without alloy

Of Joy beyond all earthly joy

And Naught its calm can e'er destroy

Glory land, Bright Glory land!

__________

2)THe City of our GOD is there,

Glory land, Bright Glory land

It's Jasper walls with beauty fair

Glory land, Bright Gloryland.

It's Gates of Pearl like silver gleam

It's Skies with fadeless sunlight beam

And Through it flows life's crystal stream

Glory land, Bright Glory land!

___________

3)WE lift our eyes By Faith and see

Glory land Bright Glory land,

Where Christ Himself the Light shall be

Gloryland , Bright Gloryland

There songs of praise glad hearts shall sing

THe radiant air with music ring

Each voice proclaim our Saviour King

Glory land, Bright Gloryland!

This is the best track on the album and really gets under your skin, humming it and singing it like an infectious disease, the music and singing is superb and I defy anybody to produce a better folk album this year. Jolly old hawk (Track 16) is true vintage Christmas fare done magnificantly as are all the other tracks, this CD has been playing for 2 weeks in my car CD player and I now look forward to going out for a drive irrespective of the road conditions and traffic as I can hear Lisa sing Gloryland some more.

Keep up the good work folks.

Thanks for your recent concert in Enniskillen, it was sheer magic!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer Brilliance, 6 Feb. 2007
By 
The Geordie Pig "geordiepig" (North Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
If you missed the Waterson/Carthy/Devil's Interval tour at the end of last year, you missed a treat - but fear not, this album is a wonderful memento of some amazing music-making. The wide-ranging choice of songs is impeccable, covering the folk alamanac, and producing an expanse of near-perfect music.

About 40 years ago, the Waterson's produced "Frost and Fire", a landmark album that influenced generations of traditional music lovers. This album will undoubtedly have the same effect on further generations.

It would be invidiuous to pick out favourites - there are some real belters here, performed with the same Waterson/Carthy mix of authority, respect, love of the music, and sheer joy.

Did I mention The Devil's Interval? - they more than hold their own in this exalted company.

The First Family of Folk Music continue to produce exceptional music. Buy it - you won't be disappointed.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon tax cheats, 14 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Holy Heathens And The Old Green Man (MP3 Download)
I won't be shopping with tax cheats like Amazon this christmas or any other time in the future and invite you to do the same.
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5 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I must have missed the point, 20 July 2007
By 
A. Simpson "Simpsoni" (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I know that everyone has their style but I came to the folk genre via Coope Boyes and Simpson and so I would urge those people who have given this CD rave reviews to buy 'What we sing is what we are' and you will understand why I found Holy Heathens such a disappointment. The vocal quality was poor in comparison and none of my nerves tingled.Hey ho!
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