December 1, 2016 by Adam Wilson
Ange Hardy and Lukas Drinkwater – Findings
I really liked Ange’s last album Esteesee and on her latest record she’s collaborated with another supremely talented musician, Lukas Drinkwater. Findings includes some traditional material such as the excellent The trees they do grow high, which was the first track from the album I played on the show, however the majority of the songs are self-composed. In the song By the Tides Ange and Lukas have composed one of my songs of the year. It is a thought-provoking comment on migration, as Allan Wilkinson of Northern Sky has said in his review “an eloquent comment on our current times”.
On Findings Ange plays guitar, harp and whistles with Lukas also on guitar and double bass. Also involved are Archie Churchill-Moss on accordion, Ciaran Algar on fiddle and Evan Carson on percussion and backing vocals alongside Steve Pledger. Their are also guest vocal appearances by Nancy Kerr and Kathryn Roberts.
It’s a truly beautiful record and this extends to the artwork and packaging of the CD itself. This is another I’d strongly recommend you add to your collection.
Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage – Before the sun
I first encountered Hannah’s music when I was sent a copy of her superb album Charms Against Sorrow which came out last year. Ben Savage I knew as a member of the excellent Cambridge-based contemporary folk group The Willows. I’d also recorded an interview with him for the show at the time of the Willows last album release. Ben was involved in the making of Hannah’s solo record but with this release they are officially a duo. And what a great sound they make together.
The album was recorded in Toronto with award-winning producer David Travers-Smith who was also producer for Ruth Moody, formerly of the Wailin’ Jennies, two solo records. Travers-Smith does a great job. In interviews both Hannah and Ben spoke about how indebted they were to his skill.
In terms of what’s contained on the album there are covers, including a fine new take on one of my favourite Bob Dylan songs Boots of Spanish Leather, traditional material and self-written songs by the duo. British and American influences pervade the album. The vocal interplay is delightful and many standout tracks, here’s one of them to whet your musical appetite…