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HONEY AND THE BEAR - Made In The Aker 

HONEY AND THE BEAR - Made In The Aker 
Private Label 

What passes for folk music is a broad church, and like Joseph and his coat of many colours, comes in many different guises and styles. Fast and furious and at times reflectively mysterious, Made In The Aker is an album of many hues. The original material has been largely drawn from the location, influences and local folk tales of this duo’s home on the edge of the Suffolk seascape. John and Lucy Hart are multi instrumentalists in their own right, but are joined on their creative venture by Toby Shaer (whistles, flutes, harmonium, cittern, fiddle), Evan Carson (percussion), Archie Churchill Moss (melodeon), Graham Coe (cello) and Ciaran Algar (fiddle). With this mix of folk instrumentation, you might expect a traditional sound. However, the music flows like “the gushing tidal waters and rivers of the Suffolk coast” from a conventional folk style to that of a rock band.

Springtime Girl is inspired by Lucy’s grandfather who planted daffodils in their meadow. Every spring the yellow heads nodded in the breeze spelling out his wife’s name - a poignant reminder as Kath outlived him by 40 years. The opening track, Dark Heart, utilises a Suffolk myth of unfulfilled love and a sailor who does not return, it doesn’t end well! The sparse musical opening to the track embodies the sad yearning before developing into a jolly little number that still manages to retain an element of menace and mystery.

Musically sound, Made In The Aker is a valiant first album that successfully captures Honey And The Bear’s passionate live performance style and will, I am sure, please many.

John Oke Bartlett