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CD.Reviews
Sweet Nightingale    Revisited    Gown of Green    Morning Tempest

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 ne
w 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


'Sweet 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 more.

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 thread throughout.

The 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 Tempest

Click here to listen
to sample tracks

'What's 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 . . '
Faldingworth Live

'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

'What Trio 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 all there.'
Reading Folk Club