In Never Grow Old, Anne Hills and Cindy Mangsen have put together an album reminiscent of a pleasant evening at home sharing music with good friends. The friends in this case include such stellar musicians as Pete Sutherland, Gordon Bok, John Hartford, John Roberts and Tony Barrand, Carla Sciaky, Tom Paxton, Steve Gillette and others.
As in any good evening of music, the guests and the hosts take turns leading songs and allow the instrumentalists opportunity to shine as well.
This is the most unusual feature of this album. Most often guest artists support the "stars" with back up vocals or background instrumental bits. Several of these songs break from this tradition by featuring the guests in lead vocal roles. Gordon Bok's treatment of the English folk song Master Kilby goes straight for the heart. Wolves A'Howlin' spotlights not only John Hartford's voice, but his fiddle and feet as well. Guests on other tracks provide additional vocal parts for some terrific harmony singing.
Anne and Cindy are superb singers. They don't need to provide variety or relief from their own excellent vocal work - they could easily take all the leads, sing all the parts and satisfy all listeners. That they feel content to share the limelight underlines the confidence and talent they exhibit throughout this fine collection. They sound comfortable, in complete control, and as though they had a splendid time in the studio recording with their friends. You'll have a splendid time listening.
With the exception of the title track, all selections are traditional songs, learned over the years from friends, books, and recordings. These songs are timeless jewels that have survived for years without losing a bit of their sparkle. The album title sums it up nicely -- good songs never grow old --they sometimes rest patiently waiting to be re-discovered by singers like Hills and Mangsen to be enjoyed by each new generation that hears them. William Pint (Pint and Dale)
editor's note: Wm. Pint is a singer/songwriter who lives in Seattle, WA and specializes in collecting & performing sea songs. He writes, tours and records with his partner Felicia Dale.