‘Charms Against Sorrow’ by Hannah Sanders - nothing short of sheer indulgence(January 23, 2015)
I first encountered the archetypal folk voice owned by Hannah Sanders when I wrote about her EP Warning Bells, now her album ‘Charms Against Sorrow’ presents another, this time more generous, opportunity to listen again to her utterly engaging vocals. This album is an outstanding collection of traditional folk both from these British Isles and from America; a collection that mirrors Hannah’s travels. Songs that are wholly time-honoured stand alongside the more uncommon, while time is taken to explore lesser known variations of both. Each is carefully constructed and lovingly crafted, sensitively blending variation and originality into heritage – for lovers of folk music listening to this is nothing short of sheer indulgence.
Hannah gives these timeless narrative songs, soaked in the richness of tradition, extra breadth and a revitalising freshness. Moving from the classic ‘I’ll Weave My Love a Garland’ with its darker side often ignored, Hannah’s voice soars across ‘The WereWolf’ to impart a mysterious, lingering edge, while an innovative take to ‘Geordie’ breathes freshness into its tragic tale. Other gems include ‘The Bonnie Bunch of Roses/ Mayflower Stranger’, the enchanting exploration of ‘I Gave My Love A Cherry’, an unusually gentle take on ‘Pleasant and Delightful’ plus a painfully affecting delivery of the classic ‘Lord Franklin’.
The exquisiteness of this album ensures it a place on this month’s list of ‘must listen’ music.
Playing on ‘Charms Against Sorrow’ are Hannah Sanders (vocals, guitar, baritone dulcimer) John Thorne (bass) Evan Carson (percussion, bodhran) Ben Savage (guitar, Dobro, backing vocals) Anna Scott (cello) Ruth Sanders (backing vocal) and Jade Rhiannon (backing vocal.) Mastered by Nick Cook, engineered and produced by Ben Savage ‘Charms Against Sorrow’ releases in February 2015.
More information and details of album launch tour here: www.hannahsandersfolk.com
Reviewer: Tim Carroll