I have seen Fay Hield a couple of times over the last two years, from the initimacy of a small pub concert at the Old Ship Inn, Lowdham supported by just Sam Sweeney to the more recent Big Session Festival with her full new band the Hurricance Party. Her debut album was no slouch, but her second album seems to have come on leaps and bounds in a short space of time. Her voice seems much stronger, more to the front, with traces of June Tabor or Norma Waterson. She has breathed a freshness and vitality into 11 traditional songs, the title track Sir Orfeo is a great epic ballad that is spine tingling to hear live, one of many highlights. The band contains the cream of young folk musicians, including the dependable Sam Sweeney mainly on fiddle , plus many more exotic stringed instruments , Andy Cutting on accordion , her partner Jon Boden who leads Bellowhead on guitar and fiddle, and Rob Harbron on concertina. Top notch contemporary folkies, and there are also a couple of guest slots for the esteemed Martin Simpson on banjo and guitar. There is not a weak track on the album, her voice is in fine form, clear, strong, emotional but controlled, and the band are fantastic. This will surely feature in the shortlist for fok album of the year as a deservedly strong contender, a fine enjoyable high quality album, and if you get a chance to see her live grab it, as live performance with an explanation of the context for these songs adds another dimension.