‘Adzooks!’ from Alison & Jack - idiosyncratic delivery with distinctive interpretations(June 28, 2017)
In 2014 Alison & Jack released an album called ‘Half Hands Round’, which took a gentle meander through the traditions of English folk, and along the way picked up a fair number of positive reviews, not least from ourselves. Now, Alison Frosdick and Jack Barnaby have applied their love of tradition, slightly left-field humour and idiosyncratic delivery with distinctive folk interpretations to produce ‘Adzooks!’
A cute kitten sprawls on the cover of ‘Adzooks!’ while once again, Alison and Jack introduce the songs with little snippets of information on their sources and inspirations. They source widely including from the oft-used Roud treasure trove, and why not? Giving each song their own interpretation, they apply Alison’s ‘classic’ folk voice and Jack’s considerable ability on concertinas and accordions to some well-known darlings and less recognised dusted-off gems to create another memorable album doubtless appealing to a wide universe of folkies.
The album opens with the amusing and perceptive ‘54% A Woman’ before launching into the first of the Rouds ... ‘Jack The Sailor’ ... seamlessly fused to ‘Miss Richard’s Hornpipe’. There’s such delights as ‘Keziah Burnett’, the dark humour of ‘Lottesham Green’ and the highwayman ballad ‘Windwhistle Hill, with more Rouds, including ‘Lovely On The Water’, the many versed and many versioned ‘Cruel Lowland Maid’ and ‘Handsome Sally’ ... all given the A&J treatment, which makes each version distinctly their own.
The tunes are uncomplicated and full of life, the vocals fitting perfectly with the subjects. The delivery is tighter and more assured, proving that if you do something well and continue to do it, the outcome can only get better.
Review: Tim Carroll