various artists,
Live in Hope:
The Wildlife Album 2

(Market Square, 2006)

Support a great cause, get an amazing range of songs and experience the tops in contemporary music, all at a reasonable price -- how could you go wrong?

This is Live in Hope: The Wildlife Album 2. I thought the first release, in aid of charities such as the World Wildlife Foundation and Ulster Wildlife Trust, was an inspired idea. This one exceeds even that.

Where else will you get to enjoy Karine Polwart, Shaun Davey, Janet Holmes, Richard Thomson, Jethro Tull and samples of the phenomenal Anne Briggs, plus a myriad of other performers on one CD?

The legendary Tull offer us a 1978 track called "One Brown Mouse" that will remind us of the unique sound they produced and send the oldies diving for those old albums again. Polwart is one of the best singer-songwriters operating today, and with the wonderfully named "Gladstone Rags" she gives a powerful rendition to her own "Follow the Heron."

"If a Tree Falls" is from the pen and voice of Bruce Cockburn. It is a wonderful song reminding us of the value of trees and our attitude to these natural wonders. Although called "A Song to Nature," the track from Steve Hackett and the Underworld Orchestra is a haunting instrumental piece that paints mind pictures of the quiet beauty of our world. Listen in a quiet room and you are transported to the landscape of your dreams.

"Lowlands" is a song published in 2004, using sampling from an Anne Briggs release of 1964. Lal Waterson offers us "Flight of the Pelican," ably assisted by Oliver Knight.

The album closes with Richard Thompson on a live recording of the traditional song "Summer is Icumen In," and it is ideally positioned on the album to leave you wanting more -- hopefully Wildlife Album 3.

by Nicky Rossiter
20 May 2006

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