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April 04 Bob Taberner "The Silverlode"

Tom Napper has appeared in various guises but now plays with The Idle Road, Tom Bliss plays with Slide. The Silverlode of Sark (written by Bliss) provides a surprising bright opening for a disaster ballad. Bliss also wrote the equally bright tune The Casquets Light with Bliss double-tracking guitar and mandocello and Napper doing the same on mandolin and tenor banjo. One of the tracks I liked was a trio of tunes starting with Napper on banjo playing The High Part of the Road (trad.), Creel of Turf (trad.) and The Castle (Ryan)

The Newry Highwayman (trad.) features Bliss's very competent voice. Tom Napper just as ably brings out the rather morbid humor of The Salt. Alas, the poor farmer of this traditional song cannot afford to bury the wife and decides to cook her instead, hence the salt. Scarborough Beach is a good new tune and I like The Ireby Hobble written by Bliss, here featuring Bliss on guitar and Napper on tenor banjo.

Turn and Face the Wind (Bliss) is written about a baby girl born in China facing poor odds of survival over there and rather better ones over in the Channel Islands. Despite being a slow paced song, it does not seem as long as the five minutes it apparently lasts. Someone Upstairs is another by Tom Bliss. It converts with dry wit and straight words the experience of a personal account from the Second World War. It has an eminently effective punch line and ends a very listenable CD.

The Folk Mag

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