Album of the Month
The prospect of an award from FolkWords is unlikely to ensure artists undying fame. It does however, recognise work that we consider outstanding and wave a flag for albums that we feel you should invest some of your hard earned beer tokens to acquire. We reflect on all the albums our reviewers cover each month and select an album to recognise as FolkWords 'Album of the Month’.
Previous album choices: 'Album of the Month Archive'
January 2018 Album of the Month: ‘Fire' - Midnight Skyracer
'Fire' is one of those albums that falls squarely into the ‘play it again’ bracket because from first to last, the moment it finishes, you want to hear it all over again. The debut album from Midnight Skyracer is a definite supercharge for that wonderful expression ‘British-built bluegrass, which began with a trickle that's become a deluge - and I love it. ‘Fire’ combines seven self-penned pieces, traditional and bluegrass classics - tradition and contemporary working hand in hand and no sign of a join, and it’s seriously good. Harmonies to die for, delicious voices and succulent instrumentation.
The originals include absolute crackers like the ripping opener ‘Fuel To My Fire’, ‘Virginia Rose’ with its wistful feel, the punchy‘So Long, Goodbye We’re Through’ and the reflective ‘They Want Go’. Tradition is represented by a roaring ‘get –your-feet-on-the-floor’ take on ‘Susan Anna Gal’ – outstanding stuff, from there they give a fine rendition of two bluegrass classics with‘Working Girl Blues’ by the wonderful Hazel Dickens and Bill Monroe’s supremely sorrowful ‘Sitting Alone In The Moonlight’.
‘Midnight Skyracer’ is a ‘new’ band even though its members are well-regarded, exceptional musicians.
Listening to ‘Fire’ it’s obvious that ‘Midnight Skyracer’ has a long way to run, probably at full throttle. They are Tabitha Agnew (banjo, lead/ harmony vocals) Charlotte Carrivick (guitar, harmony vocals) Laura Carrivick (fiddle, Dobro, lead/ harmony vocals)Leanne Thorose (mandolin, lead vocals) and Eleanor Wilkie (double bass).