Review Archive

Ange Hardy – ‘The Lament of The Black Sheep’ - another striking collection of self-penned songs

(June 11, 2014)

Listening to Ange Hardy’s songs always seems to evoke some distant memories. Times and places once faded away return to life again. At once you’re walking the dusty corridors of heritage and hearingAnge Hardy The Lament of The Black Sheep its spirits rise towards today. Moving on from her debut album Bare Foot Folk, on her latest album she delivers another striking collection of self-penned songs that retain and amplify the edge of inheritance - ‘The Lament of The Black Sheep’ offers original, living songs bathed in echoes of deeply felt tradition.

From the presence and potency of the opener ‘The Bow to The Sailor’ through a gently inventive interpretation of the classic nursery rhyme with ‘The Lament of The Black Sheep’ to the desperate understanding and sorrowful refusal of‘The Gambler’s Lot’ there’s a journey through contrasting influences and expressions. This album delivers cautionary tales, relates sad stories, clarifies simple virtues and lays bare tender poetry blended with stirring melodies – ‘The Daring Lassie’ is a personal and expressive tale, there’s deeply-felt loss within ‘The Sailor’s Farewell’, gentle perceptive humour striding through ‘The Woolgatherer’ while the soft empathy of ‘The Raising and The Letting Go’ is a simple delight.

Ange Hardy adopts an approach to her music that mixes a fine appreciation of personal examination, a reflection of heritage and its entwining roots, with the ability to turn its anecdotes into words and music that make statements impossible to ignore. You only have to listen to ‘The Lament of The Black Sheep’ to hear the living heart of folk music beating throughout.

Playing alongside Ange Hardy on ‘The Lament of The Black Sheep’ are James Findlay (vocals, fiddle) Lukas Drinkwater (double bass, backing vocals) Jon Dyer (flute, whistle) Alex Cumming (accordion, backing vocals) and Jo May (percussion, spoons).

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Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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