Fox's Wedding


aec.dujn4.2 3/11/08 New

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Review Text Tired of the forced "lookit me, I'm so weird!" posturing of the acid folk crowd but still have an itch for the traditional folk forms that were revived and updated during the cross-Atlantic folk revival of the '50s and '60s? Then it's time for Sharron Kraus. A native of Oxford, England, who spends a fair amount of time in the States collaborating with American musicians like Alec K. Redfearn and Christian Kiefer, Kraus is Shirley & Dolly Collins melded into one, with big pinches of Anne Briggs and Judy Dyble (original lead singer of Fairport Convention) for good measure. A multi-instrumentalist who plays acoustic guitar, hurdy-gurdy, and banjo just for starters, Kraus has a warm vocal style steeped in folk tradition but blessedly free of the twee affectations that mar some of its lesser practitioners. (You'll never see Kraus singing harmonies with a hand cupped over her ear.) Unusually for someone so traditional-sounding, Kraus writes almost all of her own material rather than scavenging through the child ballads: only "Thrice Toss These Oaken Ashes" (a setting of a poem by Thomas Campion) isn't an original lyric. Yet these original tunes are so marvelously simple and unadorned that songs like the delicate opener, "Brigid," and the marvelously spooky recorder-led "Robin Is Dead" (which could potentially start a new trend: psychedelic Morris dance tunes!) sound authentically trad. Yet another fine album by one of British folk's most underappreciated new practitioners. ~ Stewart Mason

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Brigid - 4:09
  2. 2. Green Man - 3:23
  3. 3. In the Middle of Summer - 4:52
  4. 4. July Skies - 4:14
  5. 5. Harvest Moon - 4:31
  6. 6. Would I - 4:18
  7. 7. Prophet - 3:59
  8. 8. Thrice Toss These Oaken Ashes - 4:23
  9. 9. Robin is Dead - 2:09
  10. 10. Ruthless and Alone - 3:48
  11. 11. Made My Home - 3:57
  12. 12. Magpie Child - 4:17

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