Smithfield Fair,
The Winter Kirk
(Stevenson Productions, 2001)

Smithfield Fair warms the heart and kindles the spirit in this fabulous collection of Celtic church and Christmas songs. The Winter Kirk, Smithfield Fair's fifth Celtic musical production, results from requests for a recording of songs performed at religious services and events such as the Kirking of the Tartan.

This fine selection of Scottish, Irish and Welsh traditional hymns and folk songs sparkle and shine like the lights on a Christmas tree. "Child in a Manger" (sung to the American tune of "Morning Has Broken"), "We Three Kings," "Deck the Halls," "Silent Night," "Lord of the Highlands," "What Child is This" and "Amazing Grace" represent just a few of the stars on this disc.

Smithfield Fair for the most part represents the combined musical talents of a family (Jan Smith on vocals, guitar, accordion and piano; Dudley-Brian Smith on vocals, guitar, mandolin, Highland bagpipes, Scottish smallpipes, recorder; Frang Bladen on vocals, bodhran, percussion; Margaret Claire Smith on vocals, as well as special guests such as Baker Stevenson Smith Sr. on vocals; Joel Smith on vocals, Bob Smith on vocals, acoustic bass and Tom Murray Senior on vocals). However, this excellent blend of musical and vocal talent should not be dismissed as a "family sing-along."

In The Winter Kirk you will find the true spirit of Christmas -- faith, hope, love and last, but not least, family.

[ by Lynne Remick ]
Rambles: 14 December 2001

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