Dave & Julia Evardson,
A Ramble on the Viking Way
(P&C Grimsby Audio Arts, 2003)

This is traditional folk music with contemporary lyrics. The musical backing on A Ramble on the Viking Way is very sparse (accordion and guitar only) but effective. Dave and Julia Evardson generally sing different songs, only occasionally singing together. Their music is set in the county of Lincolnshire on the east coast of England. Lincolnshire is predominately a farming county but the main focus of the music is Grimsby, which for centuries was a major deep-sea fishing port. The fishing industry declined rapidly in the late 20th century for a variety of reasons, providing the inspiration for several of the songs on this collection.

The title track is actually about a footpath that stretches across three counties with one end in Lincolnshire and the other end in Leicestershire. This is followed by "Thrown It All Away," reflecting on the decline of the fishing industry. You can hear about other aspects of fishing in "The Forty Thieves" (about unscrupulous trawler owners), "The Fitter on the Shore" (about a dock worker), "A Westerly" (about how fishermen help each other in bad times) and "The Grand Old Ladies" (about the trawlers). "The Storm of '53" recalls a disastrous flood that hit the region. "Bumper to Bumper" is about traffic congestion. "I Can Only Think of You" is a love song. Dave provides comments on each song explaining their inspiration.

This is an interesting collection that will have greatest appeal to those familiar with the fishing industry or Lincolnshire, but will appeal to anyone who likes their music simple and can in some way relate to a former major industry that has fallen on hard times.

- Rambles
written by Peter D. Harris
published 27 December 2003