Posts Tagged ‘bella hardy’
Words by Tim Cumming
Hardy’s fifth album was recorded with her touring band The Midnight Watch: Blazin’ Fiddles guitarist Anna Massie; Braebach bassist James Lindsay; and keyboardist/accordionist Angus Leyton of The Halton Quartet. It features new versions of traditional material, often retitled and augmented with verses displaying Hardy’s assured songwriter’s touch, alongside a handful of self-penned tunes. These include the wonderful ‘Three Pieces of My Heart’ – a tune that would fit perfectly into country singer Willie Nelson’s repertoire of broken-hearted love songs. The original material on this album has the depth, strength and melodies to stand tall alongside her take on Phoebe Smith’s ‘Yellow Handkerchief’ or ‘The Outlandish Knight’ and ‘Raggle Taggle Gypsies’ (here titled ‘The Seventh Girl’ and ‘Good Man’s Wife’ respectively).
Acoustic guitar and piano predominate; the village-hall upright piano sound on the closing shanty of ‘One More Day’ is haunting and ethereal over a spare guitar backing. There’s plenty of space in the arrangements that allows the voice to lead with a clarity and tenderness of feeling. There are touches of the 70s West Coast singer-songwriter tradition of Laurel Canyon – perhaps in the predominance of piano arrangements – and Bella Hardy has a natural ability to fashion catchy pop hooks in the forge of big, doom-laden folk songs.
TRACK TO TRY: Yellow Handkerchief
(On Noe Records)
The June 2013 issue of Songlines is now on sale. It includes our regular Top of the World CD with ten tracks from the finest new releases from around the planet. The CD also includes five tracks selected by Gogol Bordello frontman, Eugene Hütz.
The Top of the World CD features tracks from acclaimed Touareg guitarist Bombino; much-loved Portuguese singer Ana Moura; Algerian singer and activist Rachid Taha; iconic Brazilian composer Caetano Veloso; a tidal wave of Afro-Latin grooves from Family Atlantica and Gladiators’ bassist Clinton Fearon reinvents the band’s classic tracks, amongst others.
Pick up your copy here or at selected WHSmith’s and all good record retailers. Feast your ears on these all-new tracks:
* Bombino ‘Imuhur’ on Nonesuch Records
* Clinton Fearon ‘Let Jah be Praised’ on Sterns Music
* Amparo Sánchez ‘La Cuenta Atrás’ on Wrasse Records
* Family Atlantica ‘Manicero’ on Soundway Records
* Caetano Veloso ‘Um Abraçaço’ on Decca Records
* Bella Hardy ‘The Seventh Girl’ on Noe Records
* Debashish Bhattacharya ‘Kirwani One.5+8.Five’ on Riverboat Records
* Ana Moura ‘Amor Afoito’ on Decca Records
* Rachid Taha ‘Ana’ on Wrasse Records
* Stephan Micus ‘I Praise You, Sacred Mother’ on ECM Records
Plus Eugene Hütz’s playlist:
* Goran Bregović featuring Eugene Hütz ‘Be That Man’ on Wrasse Records
* Kozak System ‘Shablia’ on Kozak System Records
* Kapelle Böllberg ‘Mädchenpop’ on Kapelle Böllberg Records
* A Tribe Called Red ‘Electric Pow Wow Drum’ on A Tribe Called Red Records
* Seu Jorge and Almaz ‘The Model’ on Now-Again Records
Want to get in the festive spirit without the aid of Cliff Richard and Slade? Then help is at hand, thanks to these timely new releases from around the world…
Belshazzar’s Feast Stocking Fillers
Darker and more brooding Xmas carols for those who like their feasting with a little more spice.
Bella Hardy Bright Morning Star
Folk numbers nestle with cheesy pop classics on this seasonal offering from the Derbyshire folk singer.
The Sweetback Sisters The Sweetback Sisters’ Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular
Good ol’ fiddling and harmony singing on a series of stateside country classics for the festive season.
Cerys Matthews Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Christmas Classics from…
All those Xmas classics – both Christian and otherwise – plus a nod to Wales with ‘Y Darlun.’
Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band Carols & Capers
A ‘Best Of’ album full of the festive favourites and Renaissance instruments.
Gary US Bonds Christmas is ON!
Some Christmas cheer from the 73-year-old rhythm and blues man.
As industry folk and, for the first time, members of the public took to their seats in The Lyric theatre at the Lowry, there was some speculation about which celebs would be gracing the stage to present the dozen or so awards this year. It’s the first time the event has been held outside of the capital and the Lowry is within spitting distance of the BBC’s new northern home at Media City, on the quayside of Salford. It came as not much of a surprise that the first presenters were from Manchester’s long-running ITV soap, Corrie. It also seemed fitting that The Dubliners would round off the evening with ‘Dirty Old Town’, written by Salford’s finest singer-songwriter Ewan MacColl. Ralph McTell, who presented The Dubliners with their Lifetime Achievement Award, perfectly summed up their long-lasting appeal, saying that there was “a brightness and boisterousness to their music.”
There were a handful of truly memorable live performances – some for all the right reasons, namely The Unthanks singing with The Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band from West Yorkshire, who did a wonderfully evocative rendition of a song about a Derbyshire pigeon fancier. Then there was the excruciating moment when the collective cringing of the audience listening to Don McLean’s badly out of tune guitar was almost palpable. Fortunately McLean, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award, pulled his reputation back from the brink with a second and more in tune song.
Other favourite musical highlights were Christy Moore and Declan Sinnott playing Kevin Littlewood’s nominated Best Original Song, ‘On Morecambe Bay,’ about the tragic plight of immigrant cockle pickers. And Best Duo winners Brendan Power and Tim Edey (who also won Musician of the Year), who I’m ashamed to say have so far been overlooked by Songlines.
And the other winners? Well, the night definitely belonged to June Tabor and Oysterband who collectively won Folk Singer of the Year, Best Album, Best Group and Best Traditional Track. It seemed to be a celebration of the veterans and more mature artists within the current scene, with the recently reformed The Home Service winning Best Live Act. The Songlines office verdict was that this award should have been a shoo-in for Bellowhead, what with their impressively energetic festival shows and seemingly never-ending tour schedule last year.
So it was a relief to see relative youngster Bella Hardy jointly winning the Best Original Song award with Steve Tilston. And of course, the Horizon Award which went to Derby’s Lucy Ward and the Young Folk Award going to the Irish group Ioscaid (apparently pronounced Iss-Kidge) – we look forward to checking these guys out live and also to their debut album.
So, despite the swish new location, a new co-presenter for Mike Harding, Julie Fowlis, who brought a good dose of glamour to the stage, plus some recognition for a handful of new, young names, the evening very much had a ‘tried and tested’ formula about it. Perhaps it’s time to shake up the awards event even more and have an overhaul on the voting and selection process?
You can check out all of the performances (and do your own cringing to ‘And I Love You So’) by visiting the BBC website: