Finest Kind

Heart's Delight

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Shelley Posen, Ian Robb and Ann Downey are Finest Kind, a Toronto-based folk trio whose repertoire ranges freely from England to the Appalachians and from the Great Plains to the Maritime Provinces. All three are excellent instrumentalists (Posen on guitar, Robb on concertina and Downey on banjo) but their greatest strength is as singers; imagine Bok, Trickett & Muir with better blend. As was the case with their debut (Lost in a Song), the variety of this program is both a delight and, occasionally, a frustration. Their trio arrangement of "Jordan," by the 18th-century American composer, William Billings, is thrilling, they provide what may be the definitive version of the perennial British favorite, "A Sailor's Life," and Robb's "Homeless Wassail" is a touching variation on a standard Christmas theme. But "Someday You'll Call My Name" is a by-the-numbers country weeper that sounds out of place here, and six minutes of "Squid Jiggin' Ground" is perhaps three too many. "Home in Pasadena" is a cute but rather kitschy song that segues jarringly into the powerful and desolate "No More Fish, No Fishermen." Highlights like that one abound, though, and they more than outweigh the few moments that are less than stunning.

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