|Dimensions||14 × 12.5 × 1 cm|
“This recording is a wonderful celebration of the songs of a very musical family. Margaret & Bob Fagan have been popular singers about the Sydney scene for many years – first heard by many of us in their days with The Tempe Tipsters, but latterly as a family group, in their own right – with young Kate and James joining in to add the sort of exquisite harmonies that seem so much the province of a close-knit family. For a while the family stretched out across the globe. as James moved to England … and great success in partnership with the multi-talented Nancy Kerr – garnering several BBC, and other British, folk awards for new folk talent. Fortunately, James and Nancy have proved favorites of the Australian scene, so we see them back here quite often – and they have contributed greatly to this CD. It is also interesting to note that these tracks were recorded and mastered in Perth -and the credits mention material and assistance from a West Australian musical family – The Wise Family. Perhaps we can see this as a real feast of the special values a family can bring to traditional music.
The songs draw on a wide range of British, Australian and American sources —many of them old favorites of The Fagans – and are almost all the work of modem songwriters carrying on the folk traditions, mostly in the area of work-related songs that have always been a staple of their performances. The two “trad” items fit into this category as well – the British Midlands song The Old Miner and the traditional hymn Stand by the Shore, which could just as well be a union anthem!
Songwriters range from Robbie Bums (Ye Jacobites by Name), through to local writers Dorothy Hewett (Sailor Home from the Sea), Mery Lilley (The Birchgrove Park) and Denis Kevans (Roar of the Crowd). (Modern) British writers are: Ewan MacColl (Tunnel Tigers), Colin Dryden (The Factory Lad) and Leon Rosselson (The World Turned Upside Down) and Americans are Merle Travis (Dark as a Dungeon) and Gordon Bok (Hills of Isle au Haut). The selection is brought right home with Nancy Kerr and James Fagan playing Margaret Fagan’s, a pretty polka they composed for Margaret’s 50th birthday (backed up with the traditional English tune Bonny Kate) and Kate Fagan’s Joan of Arc, where she finds in the tragic French saint a rallying point for a number of modern causes. Listening to this CD is like sitting in on a musical evening of the extended Fagan family singing the songs that they have loved or been affected by over the years. It is a great privilege to sit and eavesdrop on such a fine session of loved songs so finely sung.” Review by Bob Bolton.
About the artist: The Fagans are one of Australia’s pre-eminent folk music families, renowned for their spectacular harmonies and driving instrumentals. In a rare Australian tour, folk revivalists Margaret and Bob Fagan are reunited with their children, celebrated UK duo James Fagan and Nancy Kerr and acclaimed folk-roots songwriter Kate Fagan. Magic happens when families play together, and the Fagans have won the hearts of festival audiences across Australia and abroad with their high-voltage stage presence and remarkable musicianship. James and Nancy have received two BBC 2 folk awards (including Best Duo) while Kate’s solo debut won Best Folk Album at the 2006 National Festival.
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