Nottamun Town: British and American Folksongs and Ballads
John Langstaff & Martin Best
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This is one of several CDs released on the Revels label with the purpose of bringing John Langstaff's classic folk recordings from the 1950s and 1960s back to market. On Nottamun Town, which was originally recorded and released on the EMI label in 1964, Langstaff divides his time between powerful a cappella renditions of songs like "False Knight Upon the Road" and "St. James Hospital" and others, equally fine, on which he is accompanied by guitarist Martin Best. In a couple of cases — notably the wonderful "Seventeen Come Sunday" — Best's elegant fingerpicking almost upstages Langstaff's powerful baritone voice, but in general this is Langstaff's show. Or, as he might insist, it's the songs' show: as rich and cultivated as his classically trained voice is, he delivers these songs without any particular showboating or self-aggrandizing fanfare, instead showcasing each one as if it were a rare jewel. Which, particularly in the case of "Golden Vanity" and "She Moved Through the Fair," is exactly what they are. Highly recommended.
Years Active: '90s, '00s