‘Housewarming’ by The Mae Trio - fascinating edge bathed in the depths of tradition(May 21, 2014)
The Mae Trio is a Melbourne, Australia-based band – Maggie Rigby (vocals, banjo, ukulele, guitar, marimba), Elsie Rigby (vocals, ukulele, fiddle) and Anita Hillman (vocals, cello, semi-acoustic bass, banjo) and they’re remarkable. They write songs built around expansive musical dexterity coupled with sumptuous three-part harmonies to produce a stunning sound. Imbued in the folk tradition, the band has built its foundations on that heritage and along the way introduced their own brand of contemporary folk.
Their album ‘Housewarming’ features 12 original, self-penned songs plus an acappella version of Kate Rusby’s 'Lately' – as an example of ‘folk from Oz’ there’s a certain magic at work down-under that both hemispheres should savour. Throughout the album you can’t help but notice their idiosyncratic style that adds an outgoing personality to the songs made more intriguing by touches of accent and phrasing that never fails to captivate.
The sorrowful and touching tale of ‘Caroline’ opens, followed by the lyrical delight that slides through ‘The Boat’ and ‘Back to the Shore’, while the eponymous‘Housewarming’ offers a sparkling web that entwines the listener. Rich in its imagery ‘William Morris’ offers an equally ornate coupling of instruments and voices, as do the moving narratives of ‘Yours for the Keeping’ and ‘Time Heals All Wounds’ with its most expressive lyrics: “And if time heals all wounds I pray for time to start soon’.And what about that Kate Rusby cover? It’s simply succulent – three voices blended to create something luscious.
‘Housewarming’ from The Mae Trio is beautiful - they tour the UK and Ireland through July and August 2014 - do yourself a favour, go and listen. Find more about album and tour here: www.themaetrio.com
Reviewer: Tim Carroll