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RED SHOES Ring Around The Land (2009)

Red Shoes

When you see that Ring Around The Land was produced by Dave Pegg (Fairport Convention) you know that you're not in for an AC/DC experience. And the title 'Ring Around ...' evokes memories of Steeleye Span. Again, another subtle piece of signposting.

Red Shoes are Birmingham hubbie and wife duo Mark and Carolyn Cook who hitched up 25 years ago when Carolyn was looking for a guitarist. Their love of all things folk has festered ever since, culminating a quarter of a century later in this 13 track debut album.

All original material, with the exception a cover of Sandy Denny's White Dress, the album is steeped in the folk tradition of the Fairport's with Pegg adding bass, mandolin and backing vocals to the proceedings. He also brought along Fairport violinist Chris Leslie and PJ Wright of the Dylan Project for the ride.

Eschewing the current trend to popularise folk, Ring Around The Land is the real traditional Mcoy and should go down a storm with circuit diehards. Beautifully constructed, recorded and delivered - an album made by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts.

And as evidence that the web is not killing music, the project only came around through interest in the duo's myspace page and a direct hit from Pegg himself.

***(but only if serious folk is your 'bag').

Review by Pete Whalley

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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