A very special CD devoted entirely to the glories of the ‘Child Ballad’ collection published by Harvard Professor F. J. Child in the late 19th century. Most of the ballads are unique versions drawn from Brian’s own research and reconstruction; Sir Aldingar had never been recorded previously in English. Settings vary from unaccompanied voice to arrangements for solo guitar or squeezebox, English or Appalachian band and, in the case of Three Ravens, what The Living Tradition described as “a squall of sonic terrorism”. Supporting cast includes Nancy Kerr, Gordon Tyrrall, Bonz Barnes, Loraine Baker and Margaret Peters.
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“I have a new ballad hero - Brian Peters: a man who sings these vivid tales as though he read them in this morning's headlines, a man who loves the ballads and sings with passion. The album is a corker…. terrific choice of songs and spot-on vocals, varied and immaculately played backings, the thought that has gone into finding fresh versions…. the best Lord Randal I've ever heard, the best Georgie, the best Lucy Wan, plus the astounding Sir Aldingar. A brilliant CD.”
Roy Harris, The Living Tradition
“An all-around terrific CD that also happens to be one of the best ballad albums out there. Brian Peters has long been one of the very best performers in the field of English traditional song and music… he sings and plays with consummate skill. He makes each ballad is new and striking... unusual ballads such as Sir Aldingar and False Foudrage shimmer with magic and murder…. a folk-rock arrangement of Three Ravens worthy of Steeleye Span. Peters’ Child ballads embody trial and triumph, but also tragedy, action, excitement, and humor, to say nothing of sex, drugs, and even rock 'n' roll. You couldn't ask for more.”
Steve Winick, Dirty Linen (USA)
“A singer with a long and distinguished track record…. a very good set, thoroughly worthy of your time and attention.”
Nic Beale fROOTS
“A well-balanced and enjoyable CD, with some memorable performances which support Brian's reputation as a fine ballad singer…. Brian has taken a great deal of trouble, and visited a number of sources, to compile versions of the ballads that make sense and 'sing well'…. nicely judged guitar accompaniments, and a gloriously over-the-top electric extravaganza on 'Three Ravens'.”
Martin Graebe, English Dance & Song
“A fabulous hour-long collection of Child Ballads…. and yes, I do mean fabulous…. Brian is a consummate musician (squeezebox, guitar, you name it!) and excellent singer, but also a thorough and committed researcher with a keen eye for detail and an uncommon amount of good sense and taste…. one of the most genuinely entertaining folk albums I’ve heard in a long time.”
David Kidman, Netrhythms
“Marvellous work…. it says a lot for his skills and enthusiasm that I lapped it up from beginning to end without noticing that more than an hour had flown away. This is ballad singing as it should be done.”
Mick Tems, Taplas
“A varied and compelling piece of work, encompassing every emotion ever summoned up by the ballad-maker's muse. Brian knows how to get to the beating heart of these challenging songs, their timeless power and tragic beauty. Great tunes, great stories, and performances to match.
Raymond Greenoaken, Stirrings