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Songs of filth and mirth

Hang Up Sorrow & Care
Hang Up Sorrow & Care
By Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band

Park Records: 1996

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This review first appeared in the May 31, 1996 issue of the North County Times.

The former lead singer for the '70s folk band Steeleye Span, Maddy Prior and her new band, the Carnival Band, is as immersed in the folk traditions of England as was her earlier outfit.

The 17 songs here are all drawn from the 16th through 18th centuries. The instrumentation, with an occasional nod to the present, tends toward the traditional (bagpipes, lutes, mandolins – and of course the odd curtal, melodica or shalme).

Prior's bawdy approach to the earthy music of the common folk of earlier times has changed not a whit; her vocals are always delivered with a wink and nod, if not a pinch to the bum. The five-piece band plays the traditional fare with as much verve and spirit as any outfit this side of the Pogues – and if not with quite as much modernity mixed in, that's still closer than any other trad folk combo. Good stuff all.