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NICK HART - Sings Nine English Folk Songs 

NICK HART - Sings Nine English Folk Songs 
Roebuck Records RRCD002 

Not a familiar name to me, but one I’m delighted to meet. Nick has a distinctive voice with a husky edge to it, and the songs are delivered with a definite Norfolk accent – which I’ve always felt is particularly well suited to the delivery of narrative songs. Add to that an ability to seek out intriguing versions and marry them to good traditional airs and you have the makings of a very interesting album.

Which is exactly what you get – there are only nine tracks, but many of them will have you sitting up and taking notice; there’s a great Georgie (Geordie) with a fascinating penultimate verse, and a slightly different John Riley (Randall My Son), as well as a very good Two Sisters, all leavened by an excellent and salubriously delivered Molecatcher. But this is not to say that the others are not worth hearing – they most definitely are and, as so often these days, my main regret is that there are so few tracks.

Nick’s subtle (and very Carthyesque) guitar accompaniments are augmented by producer Tom Moore’s viola and (on one track) the tasteful vocal harmonies of Dominie Hooper, while the sleeve notes are quirky and honest – where else will you see (among other gems) statements like “I’ve removed two of the verses because I didn’t like them”. Lots of us do that sort of thing, but not everyone’s so upfront about it.

This is a very good album. I hope Nick goes far and I will look out for future releases.

John Waltham


This review appeared in Issue 129 of The Living Tradition magazine