'THE KELPING' Tom Napper & Tom Bliss

My first introduction to NapperBliss was two years ago at the Otley Folk Club. They were among the floor singers that night and even though I don't recall exactly what they did, I do remember being quite impressed.

Since then, I have seen their names in many festival and folk club listings but until now had not heard their recordings. The Kelping is a nice way to be re-introduced to the Toms. This CD has some excellent writing and masterful instrumental work.

I am always impressed with writers who can take a bit of history and create an interesting and engaging song about it. Tom Bliss has the gift of making historically-based songs that draw the listener into the story. Whether it be 'The Raven Queen', 'Flotsam and Jetsam' or 'Silken Leather', a song about Tom Bliss' mill-owning ancestor, these are songs that tell a good story with excellent melodies.

I was a bit disappointed to find minimal information on the CD insert, but thankfully, there is much more background on the NapperBliss website ( The instrumental tracks showcase this duo's wonderful arrangement and performance of tunes, both traditional and an original: 'The Cold Coast of Catterick' penned by Mr. Napper.

Overall, this is a fine recording, filled with songs, stories and fine tunes that make for a pleasant listening experience.

Debra Cowan



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