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CD Review: Chris Timson and Anne Gregson
Peaceful Harbour

Chris Timson: anglo concertina & voice
Anne Gregson: english concertina & voice


Anne Gregson: All in Harmony
Leon Rosselson: The World Turned Upside Down
Trad: Crawdad Song
Anne Gregson: When I Come Home
Anne Gregson: Woolwich Ferry Waltz
Trad: Betty Anne
Anne Gregson: Groovin' with Mr Lachenal
Chris Timson: Good Morning Sir
Trad: The Dilly Song
Anne Gregson: Peaceful Harbour
Anne Gregson: Steam Fair
Trad: Another Year
Trad: Rolling Down to Old Maui
Trad: Nottamun Town
Anne Gregson: Bartok's Last Stand
Anne Gregson: Sail Away
John Pole: Punch & Judy
Anne Gregson: When It Comes to the Evening
Trad: Hangman
Anne Gregson: Come Trust in Me
Anne Gregson: This Time Again

total time: 64:11
released: 1996

label: Wild Goose Studios (WGS 262 CD)
Hampshire SP11 7JS

Chris Timson and Anne Gregson
24 St Laurence Road
Bradford on Avon
Wiltshire BA15 1JQ
phone: 01225 863762

Review by Henry Doktorski:

Some time ago, I was invited by my Pittsburgh friends Anne Trimble and Curtis Cooper to attend a Saturday house concert at their place to hear the concertina wielding vocal duo of Chris Timson and Anne Gregson, who were on a U.S. tour from Great Britain. I did not really know what to expect, since I had never been to such an event. A house concert? Sounded interesting, so I brought a friend and drove to their house.

We arrived a little late and as I parked my car outside, we heard some music and singing and then some laughter coming from inside Anne & Curt's house. My friend and I quietly entered as inconspicuously as possible and found a couple dozen guests lounging in the living room, sitting on sofas, chairs and some sitting on the stairway leading upstairs. Some were sipping drinks and eating snacks while some others were in the kitchen preparing other refreshments.

All eyes (and ears) were fixed on the performers which were standing in a prominent corner of the living room, singing accompanied by a single concertina in a delightful folk harmony:

Both Chris and Anne are dignified and reserved in a cultured British sort of way. Understatement is the rule here; no passionate or crazy antics to keep the attention of their audience. Their presentation is simple and straightforward. No amplifiers, no props, just their singing, concertinas and unassuming stage presence. They do not wear their hearts on their sleeves, but their hearts speak eloquently none-the-less through their music and their singing!

Their songs (more than half were composed by Anne) speak about mountains, 19th century whalers, forests, life and death and love. One song in particular was especially moving to me, "The World Turned Upside Down," about the 1649 revolution by the Diggers, simple farmers who had farmed the land in common ownership for centuries, who defied the powerful men of property who had confiscated the land and charged rent to the peasants. Not unexpectedly, the revolution ended in a massacre by soldiers hired by the landowners.

When Chris and Anne finished their "house" concert, a hat was passed for donations. After a few minutes chatting, many of the guests picked up guitars, accordions, concertinas, and fiddles and began a lively jam session in the kitchen. I picked up Curt's double-bass fiddle and added a little bottom to the mix. (I actually prefer to play the bass rather than accordion in jam sessions.)

After a couple more hours, I had to excuse myself and leave as I had to get up early the next morning and get to my regular church job of organ playing and choir directing, although I'm sure the party lasted until the wee small hours of the morning!

Chris and Anne's house concert was a great experience for me, and it opened my eyes to the beauty and strength of traditional British folk music. Their CD is a nice souvenir from their concert. I think you will enjoy it as much as I.

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