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ANGE HARDY - Bring Back Home

ANGE HARDY - Bring Back Home
Story Records STREC1701

This, Ange Hardy’s sixth album, Bring Back Home, is a delight. Her singing and command of her songs has grown over the years and an earlier tendency to an ephemeral style has been supplanted by strong narrative singing. Fourteen tracks and not a weak one among them. Every word is delivered with clarity and the storyteller’s art. These songs, all but two (Claudy Banks and Waters Of Tyne), are Hardy originals. They demonstrate Ange’s ability to write in diverse styles, drawing on issues that touch her in many ways - either personal (Once I Was A Rose), local legends (The Hunter, The Prey) or inspired by contemporary politics (Theresa May’s ‘just about managing’: What May You Do For The JAM). Having said that, Ange’s writing is altogether a personal expression: she herself says, this is “the first album where I’ve had no boxes to tick… no motive other than to write and share music.”

The pleasure starts with the card-fold package - beautiful design and more than adequate notes to the songs. The list of supporting musicians crosses generations: Peter Knight, Lukas Drinkwater, Evan Carson, Alex Cumming, Jon Dyer and Lee Cuff. All contribute effectively to the arrangements without getting in the way of the narrative or the singing. The whole is a pleasure to hold, to read, to listen to – it is a complete entity that no digital download could ever replace. The album is thoroughly recommended – and so are Ange’s live performances!

Tom Brown

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This album was reviewed in Issue 123 of The Living Tradition magazine.