The story of a remarkable woman – in song
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Praise for Mary Anning of Lyme:
I’ve just had the great pleasure of listening to Kevin Adams’ Mary Anning album – it’s a remarkable achievement. The folk music idiom serves the narrative as no other musical form could. It combines simplicity and clarity with melodic beauty and the instrumental variety is very pleasing. The lyrics are poetry – they set the scene, tell the story, create the character and place her life in the context of history, science, gender politics, religion and, above all, in the location of Lyme Regis. They resonate with the great preoccupations of philosophy (time, space and the nature of our little planet within the universe); there’s a proper relish for the sounds of the words; some nice sardonic humour in the Bishop Ussher piece; a lovely humanity in the conceit of Mary’s father being present at her deathbed and coming alive again in her memories; and Kevin captures the rawness of the actual practice of collecting fossils in all weathers, alongside the keen excitement of discovery. I think the album has great artistic and educational value.
Roy Nevitt: documentary playwright, theatre director, co-founder of the Living Archive Milton Keynes, teacher and creator of community theatre.
My favourite bit is of course Bishop Ussher. Quirky, very clever lyrics, and I love the way that the simple traditional chords suddenly go all prog behind Sheena’s solo in the middle. But then the Plesiosaur is delightful too. Third favourite is Earth Air Fire Water. It’s all reminiscent of the great concept albums of the early 70s. Enjoyable and educational.
This is pure story telling and folk roots quality albeit with interesting (rag-bag) styles. I sincerely hope you have made your work known to the Mary Anning Rocks project in particular and the good folk of Dorset in general!