The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - MUSIC -

The Bal­lad Of Johnny Longstaff (Here­teu Records) Al­bum

The Young ‘Uns have been ac­claimed as the fu­ture of English folk mu­sic. The Teesside trio of Sean Cooney, David Ea­gle and Michael Hughes won BBC Ra­dio 2 Folk Awards with 2017’s Strangers. The fol­low-up tells the story of fel­low Stock­ton on Tees na­tive Johnny Longstaff, who went from beg­ging on the streets in the North of Eng­land to fight­ing against Fas­cism in the Span­ish Civil War, tak­ing in the Jar­row march on the way. It is a marvel­lous, mov­ing, rous­ing tale given the treat­ment it de­serves thanks to the pas­sion and power of the band. Com­plete with a 40-page book­let, the al­bum even in­cludes the real recorded voice of Johnny. Song­writer Cooney de­scribes it as a labour of love, and ex­plained how it came about: “In 2015 a man ar­rived at one of our con­certs with a pic­ture of his late fa­ther and a story. His fa­ther’s name was Johnny Longstaff and what a story he had to tell.’’ This is a re­mark­able al­bum, full of hu­mour and hu­man­ity and, yes, pol­i­tics, all served up with­crack­ing good tunesg.

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