Robin & Barry Dransfield

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History might have consigned Robin & Barry Dransfield to also-ran status, but there was a time in the early '70s when they were at the cutting edge of British folk. The brothers, with their voices, guitar, and fiddle, came at it from the traditional folk end, unlike some other compatriots, and stayed true to themselves, whether performing traditional or original material (and of that original work, Robin Dransfield's "It's Dark in Here," taken from a 1974 solo BBC session, remains one well worthy of revival). This excellent and very complete two-CD compilation trawls through the entire history of both solo and duo albums and sessions, offering a very full picture of the Dransfields, their influences, and their performances. Since they tended to work as a duo without extra instrumentation, the sound tends to be spare, but it's none the worse for that. As tracks from their first two albums, like "The Rout of the Blues" and their first composition, "Lord of All I Behold," show, they came fully formed and brimming with confidence, developing a real maturity over the years. Although they would split and get back together, the music they made individually and collectively had a warmth about it, far removed from the sterility of some folk revivalists. Although they effectively stopped playing around 1980, Barry Dransfield did turn up again with two albums in the mid-'90s, and also had a 1984 film role as Blind Byrne in The Bounty. If you want a good summation of the career of both Dransfield brothers, together and apart, this set, which includes 11 unreleased cuts among its 39 tracks, in the mother lode.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
02:37
2 05:03
3
02:04
4
05:25
5
04:00
6
03:47
7
05:40
8 02:16
9 05:30
10
04:51
11 01:52
12 07:55
13 04:04
14 06:17
15
03:47
16 04:37
17 02:38
18
05:31

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
03:05
2
03:38
3
05:36
4
02:42
5
03:26
6
03:13
7
05:12
8
03:26
9
04:16
10
03:53
11
03:36
12
02:59
13
03:29
14
02:31
15
03:47
16
03:13
17 04:33
18
03:02
19
04:04
20
03:57
21
05:03
blue highlight denotes track pick