‘Bring Back Home’ - Ange Hardy "Deeply rooted in folk tradition - bursting with originality and invention"(December 13, 2017)
Incidents and accidents have a way of just happening ... they also have a way of shaping our world, or at least how we view it. You can look askance at life, become involved, fall its victim or make yourself its equal. The voyage that brought Ange Hardy to deliver ‘Bring Back Home’ proves she understands the vagaries of chance and the positivity of choice. This collection returns to more observational and personal views, changing perspective from the concept and themed approach of the previous two albums.
Deeply rooted in the folk tradition yet bursting with originality and invention, ‘Bring Back Home’ stands continuing proof, were any needed, that Ange Hardy ranks among our most meaningful and respected folk musicians. Her interpretation of two ‘classic’ traditionals is faultless while her touch on the 12 originals is inspired. Opening with ‘Sisters Three’ ... standard folk-fare woven with jealousy, murder and mystical happenings, before the inspirational ‘Once I Was A Rose’ tugs at the heart and the poignant ‘Bring Back Home’ tells its sad tale of loss. Continuing a story that Ange introduced on the album Barefoot Folk, ‘The Hunter, The Prey’ is a darkly moral tale of a hunter hunted and killed by his son, as ‘Summer’s Day/ Little Wilscombe’ lifts the mood with its pastoral message.
Two interpretations of tradition are ‘Claudy Banks’ combined with a spritely reel ahead of ‘Waters of Tyne’ with lamenting lovers separated by said river. There follows two inimitable originals: ‘A Girl Like Her’ for Ange’s daughter, inspires a wider and positive standpoint on Asperger’s and ADHD, before ‘What May You Do For The JAM?’ with its themes of social awareness, understanding and respect inspired by Theresa May’s observation that some families are “just about managing.” This is a wonderful album.
Joining Ange Hardy (vocals, harp, guitar, whistle) on ‘Bring Back Home’ are Peter Knight (fiddle, vocals, backing vocals) Lukas Drinkwater (bass, guitar, backing vocals) Evan Carson (percussion) Alex Cumming (accordion) Jon Dyer (flute, whistle) and Lee Cuff (cello, backing vocals).
Review: Tim Carroll