Reviews->Fenlandia - Joan Crump, EDS
Joan Crump, EDS, Summer 2007
Mary Humphreys & AnahataWildGoose WGS340CD
With a title like Fenlandia, it will come as no surprise that the inspiration for this CD comes from the Cambridgeshire countryside that Mary Humphreys and Anahata call home. Songs and tunes collected locally by the blind folk song collector Ella Bull make up much of the material, with a couple of Welsh tunes thrown in for good measure (Mary cannot forget where she comes from, after all).
The liner notes, which give insight into both Ella's collecting and the singing of her subject, Charlotte Dann, make for interesting reading. But it's the music which naturally takes centre stage, and it doesn't disappoint.
The jolly songs are very jolly indeed: 'The Nutting Song', 'Elwina of Waterloo' (described as 'The Mills and Boon version of the Battle of Waterloo'), 'The Hungry Army' (which is given a subtle topical twist) and 'We'll be All Smiles Tonight' all feel ready- made for a session singalong. But there is also a good contrasting selection of ballads. I particularly enjoyed 'Lucy Wan', performed unaccompanied here, and sung with a very