This is a beautiful, traditional folk album - traditional in the sense that Jim Causley has a classically rich, resonating tenor with slightly nasal inflected folk voice [best I can do], and the musical arrangements of these Charles Causley poems are also traditional sounding [can't delineate here too]. Jim is a distant relative of Charles, a fact he has only recently discovered, but he had apparently grown up with the poems. Another interesting context is that these songs were recorded in the study of Charles Causley's house Cyprus Well, and Jim plays Charles' piano which hadn't been played since the poet's death in 2003. The links are important because without them we wouldn't have the album - simple as that. The slightly echoed piano - the lo-fi reality of the in situ recording - adds a layer of authenticity to the full folk vocal.
|Poet's study and piano|
Some of the sweetest and upbeat songs reflect directly the Cornish context of Charles Causely: the lively My Young Man's A Cornishman and the beautiful Angel Hill which is set simply to piano and mandolin accompaniment. Other gorgeous folk melodies are opener On All Soul's Day, ninth Trusham with excellent fiddle and squeezebox accompaniment, tenth The Mystery of St Mylor which exemplifies the traditional vocal quality I tried to put into words earlier [just Jim and piano], and the superb three part vocal harmony on eleventh Who with Jim, Julie Murphy and Ceri Owen-Jones.