‘The Watchmaker’s Wife’ - Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston - an emotional waterfall breaks free(February 14, 2016)
If anyone is setting the signposts for the progression on English folk then up among the leaders are Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston with their latest album 'The Watchmaker's Wife', which reflects both the endurance of tradition and an expression of innovation. This essentially string-driven album offers free-range interpretation and originality that’s as different as it is refreshing. At times startling and unexpected at others another bastion of enduring heritage.
The title track ‘The Watchmaker’s Wife’ narrates the contrast between being the spouse of a creator of ‘beautiful things’ and the disappointment and sorrow within her own life, the anguish of Boo Hewerdine’s ‘S.A.D.’ cries out for the return of the sun and perhaps more, while the musical ebb and flow of ‘Good Natured Man’ searches through the past to match perfectly with the present. The interplay between Sykes and Preston with instruments and voices builds an enchantment that lifts songs like ‘Bonnie Light Horseman’, ‘Going To The West’ and ‘Leaving Song’ into a place where an emotional waterfall breaks free.
Miranda Sykes handles double bass and vocals, while Rex Preston deals with mandolin, bouzouki, tenor guitar and vocals. ‘The Watchmaker’s Wife’ endorses these two as stalwarts of English folk and sets a standard to follow. Website: www.sykespreston.com
Review: Charlie Elland