Sandwitch with their latest album ‘Rise Up’(September 18, 2012)
There’s an enduring strength in the veins of English folk. It’s a strength that allows innovation and variation to stand alongside tradition. While new-found artists stimulate the genre and break unfamiliar ground, well-known, established bands continue to strengthen the recurring spirit in familiar styles. The richness of the variance across the sphere leaves room enough for some to move freely between both. One folk duo that achieves that is Sandwitch with their latest album ‘Rise Up’.
Sandwitch is Andrea and Buddy Freebury and on ‘Rise Up’ they are joined by a circle of fine musicians. Together they have created an album of presence and authority. If, as they say, their previous album ‘Going 4th’ was Sandwitch coming back to folk then ‘Rise Up’ is proof that they have most definitely achieved their rightful position.
From a stunningly arresting version of Steve Knightley’s ‘Cousin Jack’ through a sensuous take on Kate Rusby’s ‘Falling’ they prove their ability to add to existing material and apply their own edge. And with the sharp bleakness and wanderings inherent in ‘The Land of Moors and Sea’, the stark realities of mining life in ‘The Bell’ and the deep well of feeling encapsulated in ‘Sea of Daffodils’ they demonstrate the potency of their the self-penned songs.
Sandwitch build their strength on Buddy’s multi-instrumentalist skills and Andrea’s rich, lingeringly engaging vocals as they deliver their musical narratives. Their songs cover the harshness and beauty of life, its ‘rights-of-passage’ and experiences past and present. Listen to the shadowy warnings of ‘Dead Man’s Cave’ and the anthemic call to fight-for-your-rights in ‘Rise Up’ to hear what I mean.
Sandwitch is Buddy Freebury (vocals, 6 and 12-string acoustic guitar, bass, lead and rhythm electric guitar, flute, piccolo, soprano saxophone, ocarina, electric and acoustic mandola) and Andrea Freebury (vocals, acoustic guitar, Celtic harp) – the circle of friends featured on various tracks are Maria Barham (vocals, keyboards) Amanda Hadlett (vocals) Mark Hadlett (vocals, 12-string mandolin) Glenn Coggin (vocals, acoustic guitar) and Sam Coles (djemba).
Reviewer: Tim Carroll