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Various Artists - Songs For The Voiceless (Haystack Records)

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Songs for the Voiceless

It's almost impossible to escape the First World War in 2014 for obvious reasons and the British folk community has already played its part in remembrance throughout the year with projects such as Robb Johnson's Gentle Men, Coope Boyes and Simpson's In Flanders Fields, Show of Hands' Centenary album and significantly The Unthanks with Sam Lee's A Time and Place project, each paying their respects to those who fought and died in the war that was supposed to end all wars. SONGS FOR THE VOICELESS is the idea of Sheffield's Michael J Tinker, who has gathered together a bunch of notable folk singers and musicians as a collective to work on true life stories as a basis for the songs presented here. Taking stories from the past through testimonies of those involved, in some cases the ancestors of those taking part, the singers and musicians have created a broad landscape in the nine songs and tunes, reflecting the hardships with no small measure of deeply felt emotion. Produced by Andy Bell, the album's emphasis is very definitely on those stories, which are further explained in the inner booklet. Joining Michael J Tinker is Bella Hardy, Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker, Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts, The Young 'Uns, Ian Stephenson and Tom Oakes, with an additional bonus track supplied by Jon Boden who also writes the foreword in the detailed booklet. It's impossible to hear these songs without sitting down and reflecting on the events of a hundred years ago. A fitting tribute.   
Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky

Radio Play: Trojan Tree (Show 345/06.10.14)
Radio Play: As The Dust Settles In (Show 346/13.10.14)
Release Date: 13.10.14
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