Review Archive

Self-titled album from Bright Season - pure and simple folk

(June 02, 2014)

Pedigree usually marks out a difference - listen to the self-titled debut album from Bright Season Bright Season album coverto find the truth in that statement. Blending the traditional talents of Michael J Tinker, Ella Sprung and Simon Dumpleton, this album is full-blooded folk that weaves traditions from near to home and far away into a tapestry of delights. The range and diversity on offer - themes and narratives, instrumental dexterity, emotive vocals and precise harmonies - reflect the scope of this trio’s collective folk heritage, and it will leave its mark.

The haunting texture of voices on ‘Africa’ quickly pulls you in through both the simplicity and complexity of its approach. The trio then offers such gems as Ella’s pure delivery of faint longing in ‘My Mother Taught Me How To Waltz’ or Tinker’s reworking of traditional ballads with ‘The Wild Colonial Boy’ and ‘Shenandoah’. The expanding scope of their music is evidenced from a deeply moving interpretation of ‘Strange Fruit’, Abel Meeropol’s (known by the pseudonym Lewis Allan) harrowing anti-lynching poem revealing a dark side of human nature, through vibrant energy with ‘Vankarin Polska/Shotgun’ and gentle beauty in ‘Arrival’ to the lovingly crafted harmonies delivering the First World War evocation of ‘The Yeoman’s Son’. This is pure and simple folk … and something you really must make the effort to hear.

South Yorkshire’s Bright Season are Michael J Tinker (guitar/vocals), Ella Sprung (fiddle/nyckelharpa/vocals) and Simon Dumpleton (accordion/vocals) and their album is out now on Folkstock Records, find them here: brightseason.net

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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