If you are a fan of the awesome Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage and you loved their recent supremely divine album Before the Sun then you are going to love, the new 6-track EP from Brighton-based folkateers, Hickory Signals which has just been released. At their recent gig at Union Chapel, supporting Sarah Jarosz, accolades were running thick and fast, like a delicious meaty broth for Sanders and Savage, whom, if the venerable Pete Frame were still composing his family trees, would confirm that Hickory Signals, if not exactly living on the same strasse as Sanders and Savage, well, were living in the same stockade, in a similar cosy hamlet.
Laura Ward and Adam Ronchetti were inspired by James Joyce’s poem Noise of The Waters which is the title of this, their second EP. Take a shufti at the range of instruments played by Ward and Ronchetti: guitar, shruti, flute and glockenspiel, as well as powerful vocal harmonies that you couldn’t slip a new five pound note between. This is an attribute (or divine gift) that they share with Sanders and Savage.
Produced by Stick in the Wheel’s Ian Carter and joined by violinist Tom Pryor, Noise of the Waters is going to satisfy any fans of British folk that are looking for something to put in their carefully knitted Aran Xmas stocking. Sanders and Savage’s Before the Sun would compliment that choice nicely.
If James Joyce isn’t up your street, other noises of the water would be Jack Kerouac’s poem at the end of Big Sur. Sea: Sounds of the ocean at Big Sur; where he creates a tone poem with lovely words like,
Down by the sea, Engines, God rush…Shore…Shaw…Shoo…Oh Soft sigh…we wait hair twined like larks…Pissit…Rest not…Ploppitt, bisp tesh, cashes, re tav, plo, aravow…
All this talk of Noise of the Waters has reminded me that whiskey is the Gaelic word for water, some of our most favourite waters, especially at this time of the year.
To misquote dear Morrissey: Folk lovers of the world unite and take over…and pour yourself a large water while you’re at it!