Gown of Green Morning
Sweet Nightingale WBCD 004
I've been a fan of Lancashire
lassies, Jane and Amanda Threlfall, ever since 'Morning Tempest', their CD
of a few years back. They're great musicians and singers, deeply rooted in
the tradition, and working with Roger Edwards, a man who's been making wonderful
music for a long time, they've made some great tracks.
I am besotted by the new
album...I think it's absolutely beautiful.
Terrific songs and playing and really tight, unfussy arrangements. The girls
are in great voice and the accompaniments are brilliant.
Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2
Nightingale' is another fine collection of English traditional folk songs
delivered by Jane and Amanda, two of the finest singers of English folk song.
The CD opens with Yellow Handkerchief, finely paced with a lively accompaniment,
followed by No My Love Not I, beautifully sung and simply arranged. These
two songs epitomise the whole CD, Jane and Amanda manage to keep the integrity
of the songs and the beauty of the melody, their harmonies and vocal arrangements
shine throughout. Roger
Edwards provides sympathetic arrangements and beautiful musicianship to the
songs, aided and abetted by Jane and Amanda.
Ophelia's Song is particularly interesting; from Shakespeare's play Hamlet.
a very short song but perfectly formed. Followed by The Bold Grenadier - wonderful.
Of special note; Once I Courted a Damsel, Rosemary Lane, Once I Had a True
Love, Banks of Sweet Primroses and of course the title track Sweet Nightingale.
This is a group of songs without which your folk collection will not be complete.
Andy Knight, What's Afoot magazine, Devon
Jane and Amanda
Threlfall ... pour their distinctive vocal blend over the Eng Trad songbook,
ably abetted by Roger Edwards. Their performances are restrained, respectful.
They're content to let the songs take centre stage. The CD packaging sends
out a similar message. It's organised around a sequence of pastoral landscapes
essayed in the style of British Railways posters from the 1930s.
You get the feeling that they see themselves as custodians of their songs
rather than reinventors or reinterpreters ... their simple, heartfelt immersion
in their material fills me with admiration. It's no secret: less really is
Raymond Greenoaken, Stirrings magazine
From the book 'Waldon Pond and Lessons in Civil Disobedience'
by American philosopher Henry David Thoreau, I learned the wisdom of being
able to strip away the unnecessary trappings and trivia of existence to focus
on what's of real value. You might well ask, what's that got
to do with a review of 'Sweet Nightingale'?
Well, in the excellent sleeve notes that accompany this album, those for the
track 'The Sweet Nightingale' declare that the song is 'a perfect example
of intellectual richness through the fewness of wants'. Thoreau could not
have said it better and for me it expresses so much of the Threlfall/Edwards
approach to and delivery of their music. They seem to understand what's important;
what the essence of the song is and, despite their considerable instrumental
and vocal abilities, they give only what is appropriate and in proper measure.
Jane and Amanda's playing has a texture and colour that fits the song perfectly;
but I do make a special mention of Roger Edwards' anglo concertina which underpins
so many of the tracks in a sensitive and yet solid way. One
of my favourite tracks is 'Bonny Labouring Boy'. It's beautifully built with
delicately applied layers and the anglo weaves it's way like a continuous
artists show a generosity of spirit and a real respect for the music and for
others, clearly demonstrated in the notes for both tune and song tracks. The
overall quality of this album is impressive and well up to the standard to
which we've become accustomed from Trio Threlfall.
Norman Wilson, FolkNorthWest
Sometimes the work of a reviewer can be easy. The artist or artists set out
their ambitions for the record and then the task is to measure ambition against
achievement. So it is with the Threlfalls' Sweet Nightingale. They
tell us how important it is to them '...that the integrity remains intact...'
and they continue to '...reflect the cultural values of that essential England'.
For lovers of those 'essential' English songs, Baring-Gould, Broadwood, Grainger
and Sharp are all mentioned in the text and these sources are tapped, investigated,
researched and the songs reinvigorated.
Accompaniment is on bouzouki, fiddle, guitar and keyboard plus the gentle,
skilful concertina playing of Roger Edwards. There's a lot of rhythmic emphasis
in the accompaniments and a lot of pastoral England in there too, reflected
well in the sleeve design reminiscent of 1930s Southern Railway posters.
So do the Threlfalls achieve their stated aims? There's freshness to the treatment
of the material and always with an ear to the nature of the song. Ambition
and achievement do seem to match and the sound man gets a cheer too. Well
done, Brian Bedford.
David Eyre, English Dance & Song
Sweet Nightingale Revisited
Gown of Green Morning
not to like about Trio Threlfalls' treatment of English traditional
song? It's not a museum piece in their hands
but something which lives and is relevant today. Long may they prosper;
they are treasures.'
Wooden Horse Folk Club
'What an excellent evening
at Faldingworth Live . . we were blown away by the brilliance of Trio
Threlfall. Wonderful singing backed by excellent musicianship. You
just can't beat live music . . '
'Trio Threlfall opened
the (Friday) evening with an exquisite set, their faultless harmonies
showing why they are such welcome and frequent visitors to the festival.
(Sunday) Sisters Jane and Amanda Threlfall with Roger Edwards again
demonstrated their glorious vocal harmonies and flawless musicianship
for the fourth time of the weekend. While many of their firmly traditional
English songs tell sad and melancholy stories, they are such warm
and engaging performers that the overall sensation is simply uplifting,
typified by an achingly beautiful rendition of The Blacksmith.'
Cheltenham Folk Festival
Threlfall brought was the kind of magic that comes when connections
are made. It came from the way Amanda spoke between songs, with wit
and spontaneity. It came too from the interaction of the three - between
songs as well as during, and also from the banter between performers
and audience. It came from many directions and in the songs it all came
together, as something both tangible and magical.
This was a night about commonality - betrayal, loss, madness, grief,
venereal disease, love gone wrong, women done wrong by men - the stuff
of folk songs, of course, but the stuff of Jeremy Kyle also. It was
Reading Folk Club