Various Artists

A Feast of Folk: 16 Evergreen Favourites

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The small-print disclaimer on the back of this compilation of British folk artists issued by the British budget label Prism Leisure reads, "Some of the tracks featured are live concert performances or re-recordings made by the soloist or by one or more members of the original group." Whew! One is warned, then, that even though names like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span are mentioned (and the groups are pictured) on the cover, along with the likes of the Albion Band, Ashley Hutchings Dance Band, and Maddy Prior & the Carnival Band on the back, this is not exactly a definitive sampler of British folk. And as long as one doesn't expect it to be, it is a good-enough collection of mostly traditional tunes performed in a largely traditional manner by an assortment of contemporary British musicians and those currently entitled to use certain well-known names. Moses Wiggins' "Wittingham Green Lane" is a previously unreleased version, and Fairport Convention's "Caught a Whisper" was recorded live at the group's Cropredy Festival in 1994. Nothing jumps out as particularly accomplished, but the compilation hangs together as a soothing hour of British folk.

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