Review Archive

'Northumbrian Voices' from Kathryn Tickell

(October 07, 2012)

There can be nobody prouder than a father and raconteur (Mike Tickell) witnessing his daughter entertaining an audience from centre stage and in this case the daughter (Kathryn Tickell) vice-versa.Kathryn Tickell - Northumbrian Voices That much is obvious from the camaraderie of everyone involved in 'Northumbrian Voices' - a wonderfully crafted 2-disk set from those very fine chaps at Park Records.

Now, where do you place a recording that would comfortably settle on either an audio book or music CD shelf? Well, for me it sits alongside previous recordings of her albums of which I profess to own most of them. Although internationally recognised for her achievements in ‘folk’ music circles as one of its major driving forces when it comes to her native Northumbria this beautiful part of the North-East couldn’t find a better ambassador.

After sifting through many old cassettes Kathryn had the unenviable task of selecting certain recordings that represented her friends, family and neighbours. With respect, that part of the process must have been made easy as all involved impart their wit and wisdom with such convivial jocularity that you’ll wish you could have been there in person. Those of us lucky enough to witness the ‘Border Shepherds’ (Willie Taylor, Will Atkinson and Joe Hutton) in the early 80’s have much to be thankful for and it’s a treat to be reminded of their gentle banter and good humour celebrated by Martin Simpson’s song simply titled ‘Will Atkinson’ and sung acapella by the girls. Talking of which…hearty congratulations all round to Tickell’s accompanying musicians; Hannah Rickard (fiddle), Kit Haigh (guitar), Patsy Reid (fiddle), Julian Sutton (melodeon), David McCracken (voice) and Amy Thatcher’s piano accordion.

This album was obviously a labour of love and one that will warmly embrace the listener like a freshly stoked fire and if somebody can kindly get my slippers, pipe and bottle of Newcastle Brown I’ll be an happier man. You can find ‘Northumbrian Voices’ on Park Records PRKCD121.

Reviewer: Pete Fyfe                   

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