Midsomer, as it is sometimes called by our more trad minded Green Man staff, is upon us which means that Peter S. Beagle, one of our revered Oak Kings, has a new podcast story called 'Mr. McCaslin'  for us, and we have a story as well about the pit orchestra of our theatre here in the Green Man building.

Oh, you want to know what Peter's tale is about? A fortnight ago, Peter told me in the Pub over Imperial pints of properly served Young's Double Chocolate Stout that it's 'Another Bronx neighborhood story — I may do all four like that, if nobody minds. At first I thought it was going to be about a were-cocker spaniel...but stories have minds of their own, in the end, and while there's still a dog and an old man in the version I finished and recorded, they aren't at all the same dog and old man I originally sat down to write about. Memory and the creative subconscious, which I am deliberately mingling here, came up with something altogether more interesting.' Oh, cool!

Speaking of tales, I was a happy man to find waiting for me in the mail room here, the Library copy of Absolute Sandman -- Volume Three! And this volume includes my favourite story line in all of Sandman, 'Brief Lives'. Not surprisingly, our Editor has claimed reviewing privs! Oh, Neil is now hinting that Absolute Sandman will be running five volumes instead of four with the fifth volume having 'one with Endless Nights and Dream Hunters, and perhaps the Sandman Midnight Theatre story, and the story at the beginning of Dust Covers in it.' Oh, ymmmm!

And our Editor has been quite beside himself about an upcoming concert by Malinky at One Longfellow Square in Portland, Maine on the 3rd of July (everywhere is but a step across the Border from the Green Man offices!) as they are indeed, as he's told everyone here, 'one of today's finest young Scottish bands with a superb selection of songs and tunes.' You can hear an excerpt of them performing 'he Bonnie Banks o Fordie' here and over thisaway, take a listen to 'Seán Ó Duibhir a'Ghleanna'.

Our Editor also dropped by to tell me that 'Deborah Grabien's Rock & Roll Never Forgets, the first novel in The Kinkaid Chronicles, is now a book trailer! Not your usual book trailer - this one's a full scale movie trailer, with voiceovers, text, actual film and video, and a soundtrack written and performed by Grabien and her own band. It runs nearly three and a half minutes. Grabien says to feel free to use it or link it or embed it anywhere. Remember to hit the 'watch in high quality' option (lower right under the screen, under the 'views' counter). For a major WHOA! moment, hit the full screen option (next to the little loudspeaker icon). And crank it up loud!'

Let's not forget our bonnie parcel of reviews this edition -- We've looks at a rollicking tale of meat pies and murder, London's South Bank Centre, the flotsam and jetsam that is the Oban Star-Racers animated series, 'Matty Groves' and 'Season of the Witch' done right, the eclectic sounds of the Luminescent Orchestrii, and the George R. R. Martin-edited Wild Cards -- Inside Straight collection which is more novel than anthology to mention but a few of our forty plus reviews this time!

I've always wanted the string quartet to be vital, and energetic, and alive, and cool, and not afraid to kick ass and be absolutely beautiful and ugly if it has to be. But it has to be expressive of life. To tell the story with grace and humor and depth. And to tell the whole story, if possible. -- David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet

Musicians. You have to forgive them their foibles, because of the music, but sometimes you have to think about it.

Oh, sorry, I thought you were my boss! Welcome to the orchestra archives. What brings you here and how can I help you? My name is Claudia, I'm the assistant music archivist. Oh -- it's actually the orchestra itself you're interested in? How nice! I love telling people about our orchestra.

Not too many people know that the pit orchestra of our theatre here in the Green Man building is also a top notch orchestra on its own right. Oh yes, it really is. Maestro is our 42nd since the orchestra's inception in or around 1694, that's a bit hazy in the records. He's a bit more tetchy than the last one, actually, but the music is all the better for it, I'm sure.

One could make a case that it's an early music ensemble, but only because they still keep the repertoire alive from the first years, even now, and we have a staff of very good luthiers keeping the old instruments together. They also keep our more modern fiddles in fine fettle!

The orchestra has played over the years for everything from our light opera productions, the spate of Rodger and Hammerstein musicals we had a run of for a while, music hall revivals, to burlesque, but we always produce at least a short season of classical presentations, sometimes presenting premieres of pieces that might surprise. Mr. Cage's 'Strata', for instance, which he wrote on commission specially for the orchestra, has never been performed anywhere else, and probably won't be heard again unless they air it out again here. Most people don't know it even exists.

Those classical performances, if you ask me, are the most important and most valuable of all the orchestra's functions, but perhaps I'm biased!

The members change out every now and again, but most are with us for decades, which is why the ensemble is so tight, especially the brass sections, which have been described as the glory of the orchestra! Our current concertmaster, William Bonicelli, a 'very' fine violinist, has been with the orchestra now through two conductors, but the record goes to our principal bassoon, who came to the orchestra as an exceptionally talented boy from Germany, and has been sitting that chair ever since.

You'll understand that time here can be very elastic, just like in the rest of the City.

Over the years, we've had some very interesting audiences, and audience members. The 'Earl of Carrick,' ahem, ahem, and his mistress--well, whichever mistress he had in tow at the moment--was a particularly frequent visitor, some of my predecessors have passed along some very 'interesting' stories. He quite enjoyed music, often bringing more than one of his favorites along with him. Ms. Gwynne was the orchestra's preferred choice of these, I must say. Over the years, when we performed popular pieces she knew, it wasn't unusual for her to sing along from the Royal box!

And once, His Majesty--pardon me, the 'Earl'--brought along both the Duchess of Castlemain 'and' Ms. Stuart. I suppose one could say it was entertaining, but it was rather a spectacle. Especially since he also dragged the spaniels along. There were a lot of rather scandalized glances at their box that night!

Well, the orchestra has a rehearsal in about two hours, and I'd better get a move on! If you like, I can sneak you a score and you can listen from a box, if you promise to bring it back before you leave, or we'll have to send Mr. McKenzie's best goons after you! They're working on a new concerto by Salieri, it'll be another premiere. Oh yes, it's a brand new piece.

I did say that time is rather elastic here, didn't I? It makes our archival jobs very interesting indeed!

Just three months ago, as the leaves burst forth on all the trees and the first robins of the year winged by our windows, Peter S. Beagle graced us by giving voice to a magical springtime tale of his own childhood in the Bronx, called 'The Stickball Witch' (you can listen to it here).

He promised then that it would be joined by three more podcasts this year, one to mark each passing season. True to his word, as summer's gold now haunts our thoughts and days, Peter is back with another story of the odd goings-on that were once to be found on Gunhill Road, just north of Manhattan and clearly east of the moon.

It's called 'Mr. McCaslin,' and if you click here, then Peter will read it to you.

Chris Conder has been very busy this spring, attending an eclectic selection of London gigs just so he could write here and tell us all about them! We really suffer for our art here at Green Man! First off, for our featured live review, Chris headed over to London's South Bank Centre for a very special week of music at the end of March, Folk Routes, New Routes, put together by Shirley Collins. 'Billed by the South Bank as a series of 'folk-flavoured' events and featuring performers both young and old, British and American, and even a classical soprano, nevertheless Collins remains at heart a traditionalist. In a radio interview to promote the series she joked that she was puzzled as to what 'folk-flavoured' music meant, so eventually decided to just go for folk music'. The week featured a diverse gathering of artists including Chris Wood, Martin Simpson, Linda Thompson and Lisa Knapp, to name but a few. Chris names 'em all right here!

The George R. R. Martin-edited Wild Cards -- Inside Straight further explores a post-apocalyptic world of twisted villains and potential heroes. Read Michael Jones' Excellence in Writing Award-winning review to discover how this complex and interlocking collection (more novel than anthology) examines the superhero genre through the lens of popular culture and cultural reflection.

Robert M. Tilendis tried to take a night off from reviewing and take in a movie. What happened? 'The problem with being a reviewer,' he says, 'is that after a while one automatically begins deconstructing the experience of any art, whether it be in a museum or in a hall of popular culture, which is not always the best way to deal with something, particularly if you're dead set on taking a night off. At any rate, I hauled my reclusive self out to a movie house last night to see Shelter, a feature from Jonah Markowitz that garnered very positive press at last year's Reeling! (gay and lesbian film festival) in Chicago. Mostly I went because I was in the mood for a nice, uncomplicated 'boy meets boy' story. Just so you know, I did enjoy the film thoroughly, although on leaving the theater I had reservations, quite aside from the fact that it's hardly an uncomplicated story.' So what does he think after deconstructing it? Find out here.

Deborah and Reynard have been discussing one of their favourite groups, Crooked Still. Deborah says 'Man, I love Crooked Still. The one that's killing me right now is their cover of 'Flora'; I remember it as an adolescent, my father handing me the Joan Baez album on which Baez covered it, that pure soaring voice and the whole song-as-story-as-history thing. I haven't heard a cover in about forty years, and this nails me.'

And this edition, we find Gary Whitehouse looking at their new CD, Still Crooked, and he was very impressed by what he heard -- 'This is Crooked Still's third album in the group's five years, and possibly their best. One of the most amazing things about it is that it was recorded live, in one day, in one big room together, after three days of rehearsal. (You get a sense of that when, at the end of that final track, Clarridge pulls a deep farting sound out of his bass and O'Donovan says (as the others giggle), 'Is that the outtake? I thought we were doing a serious take!'

Camille Alexa reviews Eclipse One for us this week, finding herself embarked upon a journey to understand how 'best,' 'science fiction,' and 'fantasy' intersect and collide in this 2007 best-of anthology from Night Shade Books.

Donna Bird, who reviewed Napoleon's Pyramids by William Dietrich for us, is back now with the sequel, The Rosetta Key. Find out if this romp through the 19th century Levant, peppered with key historical figures and items, lives up to its alleged swashbuckling descriptor by reading her review.

Donna, reveling further in her interest in Egyptian literature, also reviews Cairo Modern for us this week. Find out whether this 1945 novel by Naguib Mahfouz is successful at depicting a changing social macrocosm through a specific personal microcosm by reading her review here.

Zugzwang -- 'a chess term used to describe a position in which a player is reduced to utter helplessness so he is obliged to move, but every move serves to make his position even worse.' Also a book by Ronan Bennett of a chaotic Tsarist Russia and specific, complicated chess moves. Does Donna recommend this book? Find out over here.

Craig Clarke gives us the low-down on British Invasion, a recently-released anthology from Cemetery Dance Publications that apparently made its way to the public over drinks and an amazingly generalized idea. See what this collection of British writers writing horror accomplished by reading Craig's review here.

The Resurrection of the Body by Maggie Hamand, a tale of a mysterious murderee, a potential resurrection, and spiritual doubt is reviewed by Faith J. Cormier this week. Does this novel actually say anything about any of these elements? Read Faith's review to find out.

Tree of Tales -- Tolkien, Literature, and Theology, edited by Trevor Hart and Ivan Khovacs has a pretty self-explanatory title. It's a collection of papers from a 2004 symposim reflecting on ideas exploring Tolkien's work from a mixed literary-theological perspective. Faith explains what these various papers cover, and whether they're penetrable to the layman in her review.

Faith also takes a look at That Salty Air, a graphic novel by Tim Sievert -- a novel that purports to be '[that] old tale of an obsessive search for revenge that turns out to be far less satisfying than the hero thought it would be' in the words of our reviewer. Read her review to find out what else Faith thought about this stark tale.

Richard Dansky tempts us underground and through the looking glass with his review of Tim Lebbon & Christopher Golden's Mind the Gap. Find out if it's worth the trip back to a bizarre and shadowy other-London by reading his Excellence in Writing Award winning review.

Is Jo Graham's Black Ships, a historical fantasy inspired by legends of Troy and Vergil's 'Aeneid, a promising maiden voyage or a ship listing in the shallows? Lory Hess gives us a thoughtful answer to that query in her review.

Robert Asprin's recent death has left a hole in several of our bookish hearts; yet, his latest novel, an urban fantasy about gambling dragons (called, appropriately enough, Dragons Wild) can offer comfort. As reviewer Michael Jones notes, 'Asprin went out on a high note.' Read his review to find out how high.

House of Cards, the middle child in C.E. Murphy's The Negotiator trilogy, stands strongly in Michael's estimation. Read the review and find out why he says this mixture of urban fantasy and paranormal romance stands toward the fore of a market saturated with the same.

Next, we have a review of Foundling for you, the first, highly in-depth fantasy novel from D.M. Cornish, who reviewer Claire Owen identifies as 'a fantasy-genre genius.' What drives her to conclude this based on 'yet another novel depicting the eventful life of a poor little orphan'? Go read her review over here to find out.

Robert M. Tilendis, quite rightly, points out -- 'One reaches a point in any fantasy series where one wonders if the author has anything left to say. Too many of them don't and the series peters out into another ongoing and often lame effort to feed the fans.' Does this apply to Jhegaala, the latest novel in Steven Brust's Taltos Cycle? Read Robert's review and discover that for yourself.

R.F. Foster, revisionist Irish historian, continues his examination of modern Ireland in Luck and the Irish -- A Brief History of Change (1970-2000). Find out what value this dense volume has for the scholar and the layperson in Robert's review.

Robert continues in an Irish vein, tackling the evaluation of Ciaran Carson's translation and slight adaptation of The Táin. Discover how this epic tale of cattle-raiding interacts with the modern sensibility and whether this volume is good only for academics by reading his review.

Robert also reviews a selection of manga volumes for us this week -- Basilisk -- The Kouga Ninja Scrolls, Vols. 1-5. Discover how well the manga adapts a 1958 historical novel by Futaro Yamada by reading Robert's thorough and discerning review here. This review also receives an Excellence in Writing Award.

Elizabeth Vail delivers an eye-opening review of The Brass Bed by Jennifer Stevenson. Mainly one finds their eyes opened to scandal and misfortune and not necessarily in a mixture that confers 'entertaining' upon 'tawdriness.' Find out what you can expect in this latest offering from the author of Trash Sex Magic by reading Elizabeth's Grinch Award winning review here.

Camille Alexa found that just because PBS puts it on their schedule doesn't mean it's any good. I have to say that came as a shock to me, since I'm a great lover of all types of BBC mysteries (not to mention Torchwood, but that's another matter).

Camille took a look at two stories from Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE), Proof and Proof -- Prescription for Murder. And came away nonplussed. 'Anyone familiar with generations of BBC political thrillers or crime dramas will have seen most of this on television before, and done better... In all, I suppose I could say that if you're up late one night and can't sleep; if it's three a.m. and you're stuck alone at home and Proof is on some astronomically-numbered satellite television station you don't ordinarily watch, and you're in that weird sleepy-awake stage that makes it impossible to read, and watching people run around waving guns doesn't bother you late at night; then, and only then, I could recommend watching these.' Ouch! Camille earns a Grinch Award for turning in a beautiful review of a not-so-lovely set of DVD's. Give it a look, and see why though she didn't truly hate 'em, she couldn't honestly recommend them either.

Rachel Manija Brown waded through the floatsam and jetsam that is Oban Star-Racers and barely escaped with her love of anime intact. That's a shame, given how popular these characters are with the cosplay set. But cute outfits don't make good anime, as Rachel found out the hard way. 'For the first time in my career as a reviewer, I must confess that I was unable to finish the material that I was given. I tried. Oh, how I tried... Finally, I could bear it no longer and gave up.' She too earns a Grinch Award for her valiant effort, as well as my deepest sympathies.

But wait, what's this? Craig Clarke comes to the rescue with a rollicking tale of meat pies and murder; Sweeney Todd -- The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. 'I first encountered the wonder that is Sweeney Todd -- The Demon Barber of Fleet Street on PBS (the nationally touring version with Angela Lansbury and George Hearn). With bloody murder, dark humor, and cannibalism, I knew immediately that this was a musical even I could get my head around. (Later, Little Shop of Horrors had a similar effect.)' Ahh, but does Tim Burton's take on this much beloved musical do it justice? Step inside, and Craig'll tell ya. But if he asks if you'd like some tea, I'd stick with a cuppa and leave the biscuits well enough alone.

I see a few of you are getting a little antsy. Hey Denise, didn't you say it was Summer Movie Season? Where the heck is a review from you? Well now. I haven't spent all of my time willing the watermelons, you know. Got a review right here. Iron Man may have been the first gangbuster out of the starting gate, but how'd it do? Pretty fine. Read on, and see if it doesn't tempt you to peek at the paper to see where it's still playing. You won't be sorry...

April 1st is April Fools Day, but Chris Conder was no fool, making his way to the ultra-modern venue-formerly-known-as-millennium-dome, in Greenwich to catch the Senegalese singing sensation, Youssou N'Dour. 'N'Dour himself felt very nearly secondary to the band. This is not a criticism, more a reflection on his ability to subjugate his vanity to the performance. His voice seemed a bit harder and less mellifluous than when he first found fame, but he has retained his powerful charisma. It ended up being a late night and involved some hair-raising dashes to catch the last tubes, but there was no way I was going to leave the party early'. Read all about it here!

Towards the end of April, Chris was to catch two further gigs at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, the first of which was in the company of legendary folk-rockers, Steeleye Span. 'It was frankly astonishing. Plenty of old folk-rock bands (cough, Fairport, cough) have turned into bloated, tired reflections of their once zealous pasts, and Steeleye can't be entirely excluded from this. But their 'Boys of Bedlam' alone is enough to confirm that Steeleye Span still have the restless invention that made them such pioneers in the first place'. Chris reveals all about how these legends fare, after some 30-odd years in the business, right here!

To round off April, Chris took in the Israeli-influenced sounds of Mor Karbasi. 'The incredible thing was how complete and professional the show was, considering Karbasi's age and relative inexperience (she is promoting her debut album and was largely unheard of six months ago). This type of music needs to be taken seriously and it was, both in her moving spoken word introductions and in the strength and consideration put into the arrangements and performances'. Let Chris explain all about his new discovery, by reading his review.

Pete Massey paid a visit to The Wirral Folk on the Coast Festival, in the English village of Bromborough. 'The village of Bromborough is on the A41, heading out of Chester towards Birkenhead and Liverpool. The festival really has a lot to offer in that the O.C. Club complex houses a large, dedicated concert theatre with excellent acoustics and comfortable seating, plus another small theatre and function room upstairs that is used for small, more intimate concerts and rolling folk club, sessions, and work shops. If that isn't enough there is even an outside marquee for never-ending sing-a-rounds and sessions. So whatever the weather, you are sure to have a good time.' Take a read of Pete's review to find out more!

We also let Gary Whitehouse breach the Green Man gates and escape for a night out in McMinnville, Oregon to listen to the eclectic sounds of Luminescent Orchestrii. 'Luminescent Orchestrii travels as a quartet, led by dual vocalists and violinists Rima Fand and Sarah Alden, with Benjy Fox Rosen on double bass and harmony vocals, and the flamboyant Sxip Shirey on resonator guitar, melodica, harmonica, vocals and more... A reliable indicator of the quality of a band's performance is whether I'd go see them again. Luminescent Orchestrii left me definitely wanting more'. If you enjoy Gary's review, we might let him out again to see what other interesting sounds he can discover!

A sad note before we get to our music reviews... Sadly, the UK legal folk music download service Woven Wheat Whispers has recently called it a day. The reasons seem to be twofold - a lack of paying customers and the misplaced dedication of hackers towards the site. The idea of promoting the music of all manner of folk-related artists via a legitimate paid download service was an excellent one that deserved better than this, but circumstances have prevented it reaching its potential. This also means that its own truly excellent compilations John Barleycorn Reborn and All Souls Arise are no longer available either, which is a huge shame. However, thanks must be extended to all at Woven Wheat Whispers for their efforts over the last few years. More details can be found here.

Peter Massey reviews Isambarde’s newest CD and finds even his high expectations as a devoted fan not only met but exceeded. 'I expected Living History to be good, but not in my wildest imagination for it to be as good as it is! ... In short, bloody marvelous! Isambarde have re-worked and breathed fresh life into another collection of mainly traditional songs.'

While the albums of old favourites are still ringing true, Peter has also found that two well-renowned artists who decide to collaborate on a CD do not automatically a classic album make. With regards to Norah Rendell and Brian Miller’s joint effort There Pretty One, Peter remarks how it 'was a very good album, although the flow did seem to wander a bit in the middle with the inclusion of a song in French and another in Gaelic. It led me to wonder who might enjoy the album the most.' Intrigued? Read his insightful review here.

From there, Peter wanders onto the highlands with his review of Margaret Stewart’s all-Gaelic CD Togaidh mi mo Sheolta and Sylvia Barnes’ The Colour of Amber (thankfully, only Scottish-accented). Stewart’s 'album is beautifully produced and Margaret sings sweetly a collection of lullabies, laments and waulking songs by local bards and sailors' but, according to Peter, could alienate less patient listeners who are not familiar with Gaelic. Meanwhile, Barnes’ contribution is 'a very nice, gentle album, essentially Scottish' with pleasant English lyrics spiced with a Scottish brogue. You can learn more about his comparative review here.

Meanwhile, David Kidney has been re-connecting with one of the albums of his youth, the reissue of John Mayall’s bluesy The Turning Point. 'Often our memories play tricks on us. Movies that we loved when we first saw them seem silly and clumsy when we watch them again. Songs which meant something in high school mean nothing as we grow older. John Mayall's The Turning Point is not like that. It is even stronger after 30 years.'

Continuing in this vein, David also reviews John Mayall’s The Masters and Live at the Marquee 1969 - the first being a two-disc collection of songs from the film The Turning Point and the second a live performance about two weeks later. While the song selections tend to overlap between the two collections, according to David, 'The two releases are complementary, and they well complement the original album, too. I'm glad to have them all. John Mayall is 75 years old. His legend is large, his legacy even larger. This is some prime music from a master.' Read his interesting double-review here.

David’s pleasant trip down memory lane doesn't end there, as he also reviews a reissue of the Stray Cats’ Rock Therapy, to find that the music of Brian Setzer, Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker is just as impervious to time. 'Today it sounds pretty much like what the Stray Cats had been doing all along. Brian Setzer's flash guitar playing and the steady rockin' beat and bottom-end of Lee and Slim Jim,' he insists. 'If you DO love rock'n'roll, you're going to be glad Hep Cat Records saw fit to dig through the files and rerelease these two CDs.' Read his happenin’ review here.

Meanwhile, David still retains the ebullience for a fantastically positive review of two compilation CDs from the artists of Stax Records (seen as the rival of Motown, back in the day). With Soulsville Sings Hitville, artists such as Isaac Hayes, David Porter, and the Staples Singers take on (and in David’s opinion, improve upon) the songs of Marvin Gaye and the Supremes in 'a fine archival release that makes some undiscovered, and previously unreleased material available on CD for the first time.' With Stax Does the Beatles, the likes of Otis Redding and Booker T & and the MGs cover the Fab Four, an effort that is 'funky, bluesy, soulful, ‘cookin' in the house of love’ (as the late great Johnny L. would say)'.

While Peter Massey and David Kidney have been exploring music they’re familiar with, Gary Whitehouse found himself on the receiving end of a pleasant surprise with Silver Jews’ Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea. 'Silver Jews have been around in one form or another since about 1992. I'm asking myself now, why have I never listened to them before?' Gary wonders. 'Lookout  is a work of staggering creativity, all the more impressive for its accessibility. It is rich in poetry, layered in subversive reasoning and surreal imagery, swarming with literary and pop-cultural allusions, and yet it's all wrapped up in quirky, hook-laden indie-rock songs with touches of alt-country.'

With the Tea Hodzic Trio’s Stay Awhile, Gary has a similarly positive experience. 'Stay Awhile is a beautiful album of mostly traditional songs from the Balkans. These three musicians perform with a superb sense of connection, working closely to bring out every drop of emotion in these often hyper-emotional songs, while never overplaying or over-emoting.' Only one of the songs is sung in English (and according to Gary, barely that), but his informed review demonstrates how powerfully music can convey its message regardless of language.

Deborah Grabien rounds out a nearly completely positive music review line-up with her delighted reaction to the Strangelings’ Season of the Witch. According to Deborah, 'Subtle touches, gorgeously layered vocals, a flying fiddle and wonderful musicians all the way round put this one into my heavy rotation.' Read her evocative, Excellent in Writing Award-winning review here.

Fairport Convention's last single was a re-recording of their theme tune 'Meet On The Ledge' back in 1987, released on 7 and 12 inch vinyl. A mere 21 years later however, the band has finally issued a new single, another revision of a classic part of their repertoire, 'Who Knows Where The Time Goes?' It is now 30 years since the death of its author Sandy Denny so the choice is an apt one. Changes in music distribution in the meantime have altered its format though; the new track is only available as a digital download.

There are many versions of the song by Fairport and others, but this one stands out as it features the combined talents of mother and daughter vocalists Chris and Kellie While (both ex-Albion Band etc.). They are wonderful singers individually, so having both on the one track - recorded live on the band's 2008 UK Winter tour - ensures the 'chill down the back' factor is strong. Simon Nicol usually sings the song these days but leaves the singing to the guests here; he still provides solid acoustic guitar work.

Ric Sanders' dual violin arrangement, performed in tandem with Chris Leslie, has become an integral part of the song in recent years and consistently adds an extra dimension to an already classic track. Great songs obviously stand the test of time and even though there have been a number of recordings of 'Who Knows' in its own 40 year history, this version is certainly up there with the best of them. It's available from various download services including iTunes.

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