STYLE: Celtic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 149728-21792 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Stella Redburn
For all fans of folk music, this one is a must! 13 bewitchingly beautiful tracks drawing deep from roots of Celtic spirituality, English folk music and reaching out to wider influences of blues and world music. Lead singer Clare Hunt is the golden thread binding it all together, supported by Mike Clifford and Tim Thwaites with guest Joe Thwaites. Sometimes the Northumbria-based group take a traditional tune and put new words, sometimes they put a new tune to old words and sometimes it's all new. But there is a common vision uniting all the varied tracks and sources. I loved it all, but my favourite is their version of the traditional Irish song "At The Rock" with its achingly beautiful modal line sung by Clare with such passion and focus. "God My Redeemer" is another gorgeous Irish tune, this time set to new words by Clare. There are two settings of prayers by the priest Gilbert Shaw, the meditational aid "Heart Of Jesus" and the completely different "Hear My Prayer" where they venture successfully into the deep South with harmonica and slide guitar. A very different heritage but Hyldas make it work. Clare has set two psalms to music and these have more of a Messianic feel with her flexible voice keening these ancient words over the simplest of accompaniments and there are also two new settings of old hymn words, "For The Beauty Of The Earth" and "O Worship The Lord" which work well with Clare's unforced voice floating over weaving instruments. The band is small but every note counts and I thoroughly recommend this album.
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