on 10 June 2002
Blue Murder comprises such a wealth of talent, that it almost seems unfair on other vocal harmony/folk groups. Combining the vocal talents of Waterson:Carthy; Coope, Boyes, and Simpson; and Mike Waterson; this album is an absolute masterpiece. It contains a wonderful mix of traditional songs and original material from the bands members, which compliment each other perfectly. So, on one hand, there are rousing religious works such as 'Standing On The Promises Of God' (which, whatever your own beliefs are, is impossible not to sing along with), and 'Stars In My Crown'; and on the other hand, lighter more contemporary gems, like 'Rubber Band' and 'Mole In A Hole'. About half the album is pure, unaccompanied, harmony singing; but several other tracks have the addition of Martin Carthy's superb guitar accompaniment.
Even at this stage of the year, I find it hard to believe that anything will be capable of challenging this record for the 'Best Of Year' award in the folk category; and I'm sure it will end up in most people's top ten lists in multi-category music polls.
on 18 May 2015
This disc is a one-off, and also a must-have. This particular line-up can never be repeated, and an equivalent assembly of talents is difficult to envisage these days. All seven participants are each comfortably capable of being the leader, or indeed of a solo disc, and most are around the peak of their vocal powers. The pleasure they exhibit in this co-operation is infectious.
The selection of songs ranges from straightforward English traditional, through US gospel, to 20th century humour from the late Mike Waterson. There is variety of mood and pace aplenty, one constant is how good it is.
If you have any pretensions to being a folkie I defy you not to feel outclassed, and not to want to join in as well.