‘Releasing the Leaves’ from Ninebarrow “...storytelling craft once more demonstrated”(March 16, 2016)
Folk duo Ninebarrow have in relatively a short time become renowned for their faultless vocal harmonies and intricate musicality, they’ve also gained a reputation for crafting involving narratives sourced from their native Dorset and this nation’s wider history. Their storytelling craft is once more demonstrated on their second album ‘Releasing the Leaves’ with songs wrapped around tales that reflect landscape, people and legends.
‘Releasing the Leaves’ offers typically high-quality Ninebarrow original songs ... from a woman striving for artisan perfection in ‘The Pinner’, through the loss of Twyneham Village recorded in ‘For A Time’, to a child’s introduction to the wonders of The Ridgeway with ‘To the Stones’. There is an equal number of Ninebarrow-arranged traditionals ... the homage to the calibre of a great British naval officer, Admiral Edward Pellew with ‘Lord Exmouth’, that equally effusive tribute to British beer ‘Back & Sides’ and the darkest of dark renditions of ‘Three Ravens’. ‘Releasing the Leaves’ is a softly appealing piece of work that engages your attention start to finish and it’s a fair bet the last two tracks, their interpretation of Bob Whitley’s (Dad) moving ‘Coming Home’ and the strikingly delivered, ‘Dark Eyed Sailor’ will remain with you for some time. Throughout, there’s the superb detail we have come to expect from Ninebarrow, an attention to the minutiae of their calling that means they have built another a folk milestone.
Ninebarrow are Jon Whitley (vocals, ukulele, tenor and octave mandola, reed organ, piano) and Jay Labouchardiere (vocals, reed organ) joining them on selected tracks are Joe Limburn (double bass) Lee Cuff (cello) and Luke Selby (drums). The album’s lyrics are available in a 32-page songbook, which reveals the stories behind the songs plus a selection of story-linked photographs, and again Sarah Whitley (Big Sis) provides some classic Ninebarrow album artwork.
‘Releasing the Leaves’ releases on 26 March, find album and duo here: www.ninebarrow.co.uk
Review: Tim Carroll