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VA – The Mark Radcliffe Folk Sessions 2014 (2014)

11-03-2015, 12:40
Music | Folk

VA – The Mark Radcliffe Folk Sessions 2014 (2014)

Artist: VA
Title Of Album: The Mark Radcliffe Folk Sessions 2014
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Delphonic Records
Genre: Folk
Quality: 320 Kbps
Total Time: 82:24 min
Total Size: 189 MB
WebSite: amazon


01. Do Chalum (To Calum)
02. Never Ever Lay Them Down
03. The Call & The Answer
04. Diamonds on the Water
05. Portrait of My Wife
06. I'd Rather Be Tending My Sheep
07. The Sky Is a Blue Bowl
08. Silbury Hill
09. Plentyn
10. Send Her to Holloway
11. The Ballad of Richard Howard
12. Two Mothers
13. The Gentle Light That Wakes Me
14. Cha D'fhuair Mi'n Cadal (I Got No Sleep)
15. The Lovers Token
16. Joseph Baker
17. The Shearing
18. The Rose of St Magnus
19. I Can't Be Right
20. Jenny Waits for Me

The Mark Radcliffe Folk Sessions 2014 presents 20 of the best performances form 2014 year’s Folk Show guests. It showcases the depth and breadth of talent on the current scene, whilst also offering an excellent two hour playlist. Of course the real cachet here that these songs and tunes are all recorded live on the show and with Mark as a most affable host, the results speak for themselves. As compilations go, for any folk fans, this is essential listening.

The radio session occupies a special place in the musical landscape. The idea of a specially recorded set of songs or tunes carries with it a sense of endorsement. The idea that the show’s host has specially chosen an artist to record for them can be a useful step up the ladder of success. Arguably this idea of the session reached its zenith with the John Peel show, to the point that the Peel Sessions were eventually compiled and released as a series of EPs and albums that took on a life of their own. While some bands simply grabbed the opportunity to promote both themselves and their latest work, while others perhaps enjoying a sense of liberation from their record company were a bit more experimental. By contrast, the BBC engineers were famously straight laced, but very proficient and did a fine job of capturing a huge variety of artists with an admirable equanimity.

For the BBC’s Folk Show, and also for the other specialist music hours that occupy the weekday early evening slots, there is something else at stake. The pact between the show’s host and the artists that record for them is much more mutually supportive. Certainly in Mark Radcliffe’s case they are much more hands on, forming an important segment of the show, but with the added frisson of being live on air as the show is broadcast. More than just an endorsement, they also have to be representative of the genre. By their nature, these specialist shows are playing to an often highly informed audience defined by the genre. In Mark’s case, it’s probably fair to say the programme takes a wide definition of folk music and while you can’t please all of the people all of the time, does an excellent job of covering the current scene, whilst also dipping intelligently into the archives and history of the music.

It’s always an entertaining hour’s worth and having recently sat in with Bellowhead live in the studio, I can honestly say that Mark is an excellent host. He’s confident and therefore relaxed in his domain, quick witted and above all knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The guests are an integral part of the programme, to the point where the weekly live performance is one of the main reasons for tuning in. While there Bellowhead played the show’s intro music live and that version continues being used, but it’s the digital release of the The Mark Radcliffe Folk Sessions 2014, available for download now, which is the proof of how good a job the Folk Show does. The only compilation that comes close to it in documenting the current breadth and depth of talent on the folk scene is the annual BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards release, but you’ll have to wait until April 2015 for the next instalment.

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