Some story CDs are merely a record-- the perservation of a story for archives and source material-- but this one is a pleasing programme in its own right, shaped to be enjoyed without, perhaps, ever seeing the performers who made it. The five tracks give the listener: music, story, music-and-story, story, music, so that the tales are nicely bookended.
This is musical storytelling in a sense far deeper than the mere fluid intonation such an expression usually implies. The performers have taken the standard devices of music-- rhythm, counterpoint, syncopation, pitch, volume, repetition-- and used them to create finely dovetailed duets. This was utterly new to me and absolutely captivating.
These three wolf stories are best described as family entertainment and the fast, droll delivery was ideal. I would be very interested to hear whether and how they apply these techniques to more adult, serious and contemplative material. Jennings and Ponder are serious, thoughtful and highly deliberate practicitioners and I look forward to hearing their other work.
For this reviewer we have here a class act, well recorded in front of a live audience, every word audible. But don't take my word for it! My grandchildren loved it, especially through headphones, and found it happy, funny and full of good characters and animal sounds. As somebody who is beginning to dare to say, "I am a storyteller," these are the sort of performers who demand that I raise my game.
-- Mark Steinhardt, F&F reviewing panel.