Ange Hardy,
Bare Foot Folk
(Story, 2013)

Ange Hardy can combine genres skillfully, make us smile and then feel heartbreak while entrancing us in short, short stories set to music.

"White as Snow" is one of the many tracks on this CD that, a century from now, will have singers recording it as "traditional." On a lighter note she entertains us with "Crafty Father John," which she tells us on the liner notes was inspired by postings on Facebook.

Hardy is a worthy standard bearer of the true soul of folk music as we knew it in the 1960s. She tells stories, but she also awakens the conscience. "Forlorn Land" will resonate with anyone looking at war-torn lands and the injustices perpetrated by often well-meaning people. "Away with You Lassie" and "The Old Maiden" are both inspired by that great inspiration of folk songs, the sea. She keeps us at sea on the more upbeat "The Storm has Now Begun," with a simple bodhran accompaniment in the shanty style.

There as a sort of country lilt on "My Old Man" that will lift your spirits. Then she haunts you with "The Ghost on the Moors."

Many parents will learn "Stop Your Crying Son" by heart in the hope that its sentiments will send that child off to sleep. She closes the all-too-short album with two beautiful philosophical songs about our need to accept and by accepting triumph over our worries. It may sound deep, but believe me it is just beautiful in sentiment and delivery.

This is a gem of an album from a lady with the voice and the vocal skills to regain the truth of folk music in telling tales, opening minds and making us laugh.

music review by
Nicky Rossiter

2 November 2013

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