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'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 (www.napperbliss.co.uk). 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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