Martin Carthy

But Two Came By

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Fans of Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span will find the clean, stripped down, spirited performances here a revelation: The beautiful, original "Lord of the Dance" (which transforms the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts" into something wonderful in its own right), a delightfully ominous reading of "The White Hare," a lively "Banks of Sweet Primroses" (which, in various forms, became part of the repertories of numerous folk-rock revival bands), and, most impressive of all, a dazzling rendition of "Jack Orion." Carthy's voice (featured acapella on the beautiful "Creeping Jane" and the ominous "Lord Lankin") is a very fine instrument, he gets a surprisingly rich sound from his single guitar, and Swarbrick's violin is all the support he really needs. And lest anyone doubt that this record was done during England's flower-power era, check out the acoustic psychedelic-folk version of Leon Rosselson's "Brass Band Music."

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