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Music Review

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Fire & Fortune


Artists: Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
Label: Navigator Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 22 July 2013

Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker are influenced by notable musical greats as Sandy Denny, Richard and Linda Thompson, Nick Drake, Bert Jansch and June Tabor. Their new album Fire & Fortune contains 12 tracks (38 min, 35 sec), some carefully selected traditional songs re-imagined; others equally carefully picked original compositions.

I have to be honest and admit that this wasn't really my thing. Yes, I get this duo are accomplished performers, but the "traditional" old-style is a little too hippy for my tastes. It's like a compilation of odd traditional songs from all over the UK and Ireland, but with an attempt to bring the genre kicking and screaming into the 21st century, while at the same time trying to retain their old world charm.

Many moons ago I had a brief spell of being a bit of a Mary Black fan. 'My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose' sees Clarke's vocals take on a very Mary Black feel. The song itself is based on the 1794 Scottish song by Robert Burns. This is, to my mind, is easily the most enjoyable track on the album.

If you're a fan of this genre of music, then you'll probably love what is delivered here - otherwise I'd advise listening before you buy. It's an acquired taste.


Nick Smithson

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