If you only ever buy one album of morris and folk dance tunes it had best be this one. Will Pound has billed this as ‘A Year in Morris and Folk Dance’ but it is far more than that, just reading the liner notes and following up on all of the places and morris sides mentioned turns it into a travelogue and social documentary.
I’ll admit I’m no expert in this field, but maybe that makes me the perfect audience, having the tunes alongside their history and geography makes this a great layman’s introduction to the dark and mesmerising world of Morris.
Pound has been steeped in this tradition all his life, currently being a member of Chinewrde Morris and Earlsdon Morris. For this recording he has gathered some fine musicians including Benji Kirkpatrick, Patsy Reid, Ross Grant, Eliza Carthy and Ross Couper – so you know it’s going to be good.
Over the twelve tracks Pound leads us around England with Molly tunes from the East to tunes from the North, then the borders and on into Scotland. I can guarantee you will recognise some of these tunes, all expertly arranged by Pound himself or collaborating with Kirkpatrick and Grant.
The accompanying booklet gives a potted history and description of each style, but this is all about the tunes and Pound gives them the reverence and joy that they deserve.