What does it sound like?:
Well, hold the fecking front page, fellas, those jaded with the school of Bargey sponsored progsnorathons, wake well up, cos this is a dangringing snorter and offers a late and worthy contender to the recent ‘Greatest Female Vocalist’ thread. Hyperbole? Hell, yeah, but if you don’t listen you don’t get.
Now Mr B sent me this a couple of weeks back, citing my potential interest as an acknowledged folkie-americana aficionado. At first the name meant nowt, until I recalled an album I had e-musiced a year or 2 back, by the then just Hannah Sanders, Charm Against Sorrow, 2015, an exquisite revisioning of trad. arr. faithfuls such as A Sailors’s Life and Bonnie Bunch Of Roses, owing deep homage to the schools of Denny and, if there is, similar. No, come back, this is not more of, this is true progression, as she has now hooked up with a Ben Savage, another east anglian, yet steeped in appalachian styled stringed instruments and ambience. This is apparently their 2nd joint venture, the earlier having passed me by, but is a corker. Yes, this girl, OK, woman, can sing like the proverbial lark, the tracks that open the album, especially opener, The Selkie, are jaw-droppers (and sadly not on you-tube), with exquisite backing of dobro, by Ben, and her own dulcimer. The record is a mix of self-penned songs and standards, such as a the song offered her in the clip, a song only capable of bringing off if sung perfectly: Hannah, or by a well-meaning foghorn, Billy Bragg, as in the original song to the Guthrie, W words. Backing is complemented by occasional steel, double bass and horns, all seamlessly weaving a classic merge of american and english tradition, totally without the twee that folk orientated x and y, female and male, duos can often slip into. Savage sings a few songs too, a husky hybrid of Teddy Thompson and John Prine. The covers you will know, but the ubiquity of, say Reynardine, via the arrangements, transcend the mere singing of the earlier solo Sanders album, being full-blown de novo interpretations. A final rare treat is the last track, a magnum opus building up from near unadorned vocals, to a sudden and surprising sudden flourish of a drum kit, unheard hitherto until perhaps 4 minutes in to this epic finale. If you don’t immediately play it again you have neither heart nor soul. It is called ‘Reaching’. The record is released on 11/5/18. Listen to that track and/or opener, ‘The Selkie’ however you damn can, Then give ’em your money.
What does it all *mean*?
I am uplift.
Goes well with…
Might suit people who like…
Hell, anything from Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas to Cara Dillon (with all the Lakemans, not just her husband.)
Thanks, Mr B.
I know a stack of you like this sort of stuff and so do you. Go get.