The other reviewers seem to be trying to warn you off this, but I'm not sure why. It's not a difficult album to listen to. True, Hall's playing is not flashy; he has none of the melodic virtuosity of a Joe Burke or a Sharon Shannon. Nor is his voice anything much; but it blends effectively with the remarkably full, multi-voiced sound he manages to draw from what is a fairly limited instrument.
If you know Nic Jones' Penguin Eggs you'll have some idea of the overall vibe - and anybody who can get Jones as their rhythm section must be doing something right! But even more than PE, this is music which is happy to be itself: completely without gimmicks or 'folky' self-consciousness, as rich, satisfying and deceptively subtle as a pint of good ale.
For once, the bonus material is every bit as good as the original album, bringing this up to almost 80 superb minutes. If you're into English traditional music, it's a must; if you'd like to find out whether you might be, it's a good place to start.
A classic album. I've only just got this despite it being out a long time. It has a wealth of talented players supporting Tony Hall who is an exceptionally accomplished box player. A great classic album of English Traditional music and song.
This is a collection of folk songs and melodian folk music both of which are excellent. The melodian playing is something else and gives John Kirkpatrick a run for his money. Recommended by our music teacher as well.
This isn't pretty music. But it's a long joyous CD of REAL people's music. I loved every track. The man's just a natural singist and entertainer, and the ballads are fascinating. My favourite is probably "the trim-rigged doxie". More ship rat than field vole though.