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Transcription of Review

I'm very sorry to say we lost Roy Harris in February 2016.

A lifelong stalwart of the Folk Music scene.

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Willance's Leap
by Shelagh Powell


Leap Year

Whitcliffe Records WHFF001

'Leap Year' has nothing to do with either the calendar or the time when young ladies may propose to their chosen ones. This particular 'Leap Year' commemorates an actual leap made by one Robert Willance and his horse, four hundred years ago near Richmond, Yorkshire. It's an interesting story with a place in local folklore, but for the rest of the tale you must listen to this CD. John Wilson explains it all in a song of his own making.

It is just one of a fine collection delivered with the depth of feeling those who know him expect from John Wilson. He has a deep and resonant voice that is good to listen to but underlying that, and making him a stand-out from many others, is the degree of commitment evident in his singing. He is a passionate singer though without flamboyance, clearly a believer in the beauty and drama of his songs, and every piece on the album proves this.

Singing unaccompanied, or with his own guitar, he delivers a fine selection of traditional and contemporary items with familiar titles like Early, Early in the Spring, Lizzie Lindsay, Green Mossy Banks of the Lea, being joined by Larry Kaplan's Get Her in to Shore, and Dave Goulder's gorgeous Sandwood Down to Kyle. Anne Lister's well-celebrated Icarus will have rarely been sung better, and Wilson's own tune to Remember Dear from R.W. Service's poem, Ghosts, is utterly beautiful.

John Wilson is well known and respected on his own patch. It would be grand to think that this album would open more doors for him. It really should.

Roy Harris

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