Gordon Bok / Ann Mayo Muir / Ed Trickett

Turning Toward the Morning

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The first recorded collaboration by folk singers Gordon Bok, Ann Mayo Muir, and Ed Trickett is not only the best record in their substantial catalog, but it's also one of the finest folk albums ever committed to vinyl. The trio's voices do not blend smoothly in any conventional sense: Bok's is a rumbly bass-baritone, while Trickett's is a reedy high tenor and Muir's a flute-like mezzo. But what their ensemble sound lacks in creaminess it more than makes up for in rich, edgy power. When they harmonize on "How Can I Keep from Singing" or "Three Score and Ten," the effect is hair-raisingly beautiful. More frequently they take turns singing lead, though, with one or more of the others pitching in a harmony part on the chorus. The group draws on numerous traditions for its repertoire; there are tunes from Ireland ("The Wind that Shakes the Barley"), Australia ("Gentle Annie," "The Cocky at Bungaree"), and Peru ("Slow Dance from Machu Picchu") on this program, as well as two of Bok's most affecting originals in "Isle au Haut Lullabye" and the deeply moving title track. No song on this album is less than exquisite, and no performance is less than superb. A must for all lovers of traditional music.

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