Ballads & Candles


aec.pak54.2 4/22/08 New
$11.89 $13.99

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    Ballads & Candles Park Records / Park

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Review Text From ballad performer to folk-rock goddess, Maddy Prior has become a staple of the English folk scene. Ballads and Candles is a live, 35-year retrospective, recorded during 1999's Christmas tour. She is supported by a talented cast that includes luminaries no less than singer June Tabor, keyboard player Nick Holland, and fiddler Peter Knight. Prior begins with an old Steeleye Span tune, "Blacksmith," which she sings a cappella. Her voice has a deep resonance, and her vocal range continues to be impressive. "Blood and Gold" is filled with lovely group harmony, layered into multiple sections and parts. Several traditional Christmas songs, including "The Boar's Head" and "A Virgin Most Pure" are given lively performances, reminding one of the festive nature of the tour. Tabor performs "All in the Morning" unaccompanied, delivering the gravity of the lyrics in her deep, full voice. "Rose" features Prior and her daughter (who the song had been written for), proving once again that folk music runs in the blood of certain English families. "Betsy Bell" is another standout, with Prior's vocals lovingly caressed by Knight's fiddle. This is an album that focuses heavily on the singing of songs, and it is on the merits of the singers involved that it succeeds so well. Ballads and Candles works as both a lovely holiday album and a career retrospective, and it will be fun for her admirers to revisit these songs in new settings. Fans of Prior, the Carnival Band, and Steeleye Span will enjoy this one. ~ Ronnie Lankford, Jr.

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Blacksmith - 4:42
  2. 2. Blood and Gold - 4:37
  3. 3. Boar's Head - 3:37
  4. 4. Virgin Most Pure - 4:20
  5. 5. All in the Morning - 4:00
  6. 6. Sing, Sing All the Earth - 3:28
  7. 7. Doffing Mistress - 2:20
  8. 8. Betsy Bell - 6:34
  9. 9. Hind Horn - 6:00
  10. 10. Singing the Travels - 4:34
  11. 11. Long Shadows - 4:18
  12. 12. King - 1:25
  13. 13. Rose - 4:58
  14. 14. Mother and Child - 3:05
  15. 15. Alex - 4:55
  16. 16. My Husband's Got No Courage in Him - 4:30
  17. 17. Blackleg Miner - 4:31
  18. 18. Padstow May Song - 4:58

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