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Monday, 28 March 2011

Bob Fox and Stu Luckley, Nowt So Good'll Pass

(Rubber Records, RUB 028, 1978)

This is the first of two rare Fox and Luckley LPs which Colin Irwin rated as "classic".  It's hardly surprising - this album launched a thousand folk club standards.  The songs and arrangements were oft imitated; rarely if ever surpassed.  
Bob Fox's voice is one of the wonders of northern folk music - rich, melodic and powerful.  In any other context, it steals the show, but this is an album of complete arrangements, with voices and instruments interwoven with great musical intelligence.  Stu Luckley's acoustic bass absolutely drives the music and stands out as some of the funkiest playing ever to have derived from the folk scene.  His vocals are also a perfect foil for Fox's.  Bob Fox's own guitar, piano and dulcimer work is also faultless - both intricate and rhythmic.  
The material ranges from Tyneside favourites such as The Bonny Gateshead Lass and Sally Wheatley through to the wider folk tradition in songs such as Reynard the Fox and The Beggin.  Whatever they perform, Fox and Luckley make it their own.  It's hardly surprising that this remains a highly sought-after album.

Track Listing:
  • The Bonny Gateshead Lass
  • Reynard the Fox
  • Gypsy Davey
  • The Beggin
  • Bonny at Morn
  • Row Between the Cages
  • Sally Wheatley
  • The Sandgate Lass on the Ropery Banks
  • Isle of Islay
  • Doodle Let Me Go

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