Shades of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span and ye olde days! I had not heard of Ange Hardy until this album but I will be backtracking soon, thanks to a voice steeped in the modern traditions of the traditional folk music so many of us loved back in the sixties and seventies and even the fifties—music which conjured up visions of Robin Hood and serfdom and kings and earls and barons. Music melodic and harmonious, ready for the chorus of voices the modern folk rock bands took care to provide. Ange Hardy continues the tradition, following in the vocal footsteps of Maddy Prior and Sandy Denny and the more modern but traditional sides of Clannad and their like. Female voice up front, chorus behind and sometimes full-on chorus, folk chorus though it be.
If you know anything about British, Irish and Scottish folk music, you are aware of the jigs and reels and ballads of the past. You know the instruments—guitars and lutes and a string of odd stringed instruments linked to periods which conjure up visions of King Richard and serfdom and the aforementioned Robin Hood—music most of us heard in bastardized form courtesy of Hollywood. When folk met rock, though, the modern ear took note. Such is what we get from Hardy here.
If you are ignorant of the genre, this would be a good starter album. Hardy has a more than pleasant voice which adapts to the song, sometimes accent-strong and at other times smooth and wind-blown—universal. Fourteen songs, assumedly Hardy-penned, and every one reaching deep. Nice, nice stuff.
Hardy has two previous studio albums for your perusal as well—Bare Foot Folk and Windmills and Wishes. The Lament of the Black Sheep has struck deep enough for me to search out those albums as soon as I finish typing this. So, if you will excuse me, I have some listening to do. I would suggest you do a little of your own. If this were a music video, I would have an arrow pointing to Hardy's album jacket with the line, "Start here"! It's as good a place as any I've heard recently.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles