CD: Megson, Take Yourself a Wife


Stu Hanna and Debbie Hanna-Palmer, better known as Megson, have steadily established their reputation as two of the freshest, most original performers in the latest folk revival, and this album places them in the major league. They specialise in delicate, intimate harmony singing backed by equally understated and classy instrumental work from Debbie's concertina or Stu's mandolin, guitar, bass or fiddle, and their refreshingly contemporary acoustic style is matched here by a fascinating set of songs. Megson are from Teesside and have set out to revive the work of songwriters popular in the northeast from the 17th to the early 20th century. The songs are poignant, angry or funny, with some memorable, sturdy melodies, and range from a gently thoughtful ballad written by a 19th-century miner, discussing the problems of emigration, through to a protest song from the same era complaining about a new fish market being built in Newcastle, or the witty title track, written by a Cleveland housewife. Then there's Little Joe, written by a young 18th-century travelling singer from Newcastle, which now sounds like the English answer to a classic country weepie. This is a subtle and intriguing set.


Robin Denselow

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

CD: Peter Broderick: Home

The 21-year-old spends most of his debut album gazing at the heavens

Maddy Costa

31, Oct, 2008 @1:09 PM

CD: Folk music review: Lila Downs, Shake Away


Robin Denselow

02, Oct, 2008 @11:01 PM

CD: Folk music review: Old Crow Medicine Show, Tennessee Pusher


Robin Denselow

11, Sep, 2008 @11:01 PM

CD: Folk music review: Taj Mahal, Maestro/The Natch'l Blues

(Heads Up/Sony Blue)

Robin Denselow

02, Oct, 2008 @11:01 PM

CD: Arthur Russell: Love is Overtaking Me

This collection showcases an immense, eclectic talent

Dave Simpson

31, Oct, 2008 @2:36 PM

The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble: Music of Georges I – review
These haunting and atmospheric pieces relate to folk or sacred songs that have their roots in Armenia or its neighbours, writes Robin Denselow

Robin Denselow

11, Aug, 2011 @9:46 PM

CD: Ralfe Band: Attic Thieves

There's an uneasy surrealism about it, a sense that despite all the pretty melodies, something nasty lurks within

Michael Hann

10, Oct, 2008 @1:43 PM

Christy Moore: Folk Tale – review
This recording of 11 old and new songs switches between the exquisite, the tragic and the humorous, writes Robin Denselow

Robin Denselow

27, Oct, 2011 @9:46 PM

Folk review: Dr Dog, Fate

(Park the Van)

Maddy Costa

31, Jul, 2008 @11:05 PM

CD: Folk review: Pete Greenwood, Sirens


Dave Simpson

21, Aug, 2008 @11:01 PM