For Pence and Spicy Ale

The Watersons

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For Pence and Spicy Ale Review

by Richard Meyer

This lovely album, almost entirely cappella, was first released by the Watersons in 1975. It is considered by many to be their finest recording and includes the participation of Martin Carty in addition to family members. (Carthy, who had married Norma Waterson, replaced her cousin, John Harrison.) For Pence and Spicy Ale sounds like the back room of an old pub in its charming immediacy; listeners really get a sense of the fun it is to sing these old traditional songs with affection and respect. [A reissue also included some later solo Waterson recordings which featured others helping out.]

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