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CUPOLA:WARD - Bluebell

CUPOLA:WARD - Bluebell
Betty Beetroot Records BETTY02

Somewhere in the Midlands of England over the last four years, a union of sorts formed between an established group of talented multi-instrumentalists comprising Doug Eunson, Sarah Matthews and Oli Matthews called Cupola, and Lucy Ward, a blue-haired award-winning young singer/songwriter. After several years of testing the waters in front of live audiences, Cupola:Ward has put together an album of exquisitely performed songs, and called it Bluebell.

By way of an opener, and winning my approval right from track one, is a song my grandma might’ve written! To explain, it’s called Crane Driver, sung by Lucy, and is about young Yorkshire women driving factory cranes during WWII, just like my gran.

Many of the other pieces are English in origin, with a recurring Midlands theme, such as Damped In His Groove, sung by Sarah about lead miners dying at their work, and Squire Of Tamworth, a localised version of a love song cheerfully sung by Doug and Lucy.

It is when all the voices are brought together that this work shines most, weaving their harmonic threads together in the carols Jacobs Well and Gower Wassail. Perhaps most unusual, and yet rather charming, is what nowadays could be described as a mash-up between an 18th Century French dance tune and Lennon & McCartney’s Nowhere Man.

Bluebell is the first full album of recordings released by this collaboration; long may this union continue to bear blossom.

Andy Piper

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This album was reviewed in Issue 117 of The Living Tradition magazine.