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Old Adam

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Feb. 2016)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Soundpost Records
  • ASIN: B016LPG99S
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,678 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product description

Product Description

Following the considerable success of The Full English album and touring band, which she assembled, singer Fay Hield is due to release her 3rd solo album, 'Old Adam' on Soundpost Records in February 2016.

Old Adam is a fresh and original exploration of how we use stories and music to understand what it means to be human and combines not only Fay's gift for unearthing striking material but also her distinctive and naturalistic delivery of it. These qualities have won her critical acclaim for her previous solo albums (Looking Glass / 2010 and Orfeo / 2012, both Topic Records) including several BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and a nomination for Folk Singer of the Year.

Old Adam contains 14 tracks, ranging from the The Hag in the Beck from the 1600s to The Briar and the Rose, a version of a Tom Waits song. The title track explores the oldest story in the book: 'the fantasy of a purity of life, before corruption and sin – perhaps it was a result of the developing sins that we have these songs to help us make sense of it all' says Fay. 'Willow Glen' is taken from the Lucy Broadwood collection, while 'Green Gravel' (from Alice Gomme's 'Traditional Games of England, Scotland and Ireland') is an interpretation of a playground song. 'Raggle Taggle Gypsy' moves into the realms of fantasy, with an enticing glimpse of a world we could inhabit, if only we would follow our hearts. Themes of justice (and injustice) are explored in Queen Eleanor's Confession (from a version by Tim Hart and Maddy Prior) and The Hornet and the Beetle (from the collection of Ralph Vaughan Wiliams). Many of the lyrics are adapted and several tunes written by Fay and a couple by her partner, Jon Boden. The arrangements on the album are all by Fay Hield and The Hurricane Party.

Fay is accompanied by her stellar band, The Hurricane Party, which consists of some of the finest folk musicians working today; Rob Harbron (English Concertina, fiddle, vocals), Sam Sweeney (fiddle, viola, cello, nyckelharpa, vocals), Roger Wilson (fiddle, guitar, mandolin and vocals), expanded to include Ben Nicholls (Bass) and Toby Kearney (Percussion) and including special guests Jon Boden and guitar maestro, Martin Simpson.

As well as enjoying a blossoming recording and performing career, Yorkshire born and bred Fay is also an academic, lecturing in Music at the University of Sheffield where she specializes in the role folk music plays in the construction of communities. With her unique combination of performance and academic talents, it was perhaps inevitable that she would be invited by the English Folk Dance & Song Society to head their ground-breaking Full English project. For the first time many of the finest early 20th century folksong collections can be found in the most comprehensive searchable database of British folk songs, tunes, dances and customs in the world. Fay assembled The Full English Band, pulling together half a dozen of the top talents on the English folk music circuit, including Seth Lakeman, Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr, Sam Sweeney, Rob Harbron and double bassist Ben Nicholls. This 'super group' toured for two years and released a self-titled album, again on Topic Records, winning Best Group and Best Album at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Fay Hield continues in her passionate and engaging exploration of the repertoire of the English tradition. At times sparse and contemplative, at others, fired-up with a spirit lifting rhythm and plenty of rousing choruses, the music on Old Adam is both captivating and thought-provoking.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
We were fortunate enough to see Fay Hield and the Hurricane Party on the 3rd date of her tour to launch this new album at the Caroline Club at Saltaire on 5th February. It was a brilliant concert, a sold out show in front of an enthusiastic audience, and all of the songs from the new album were played in the course of the 2 sets. I got my copy of this CD a week in advance of its official release signed personally by Fay at the concert and have had the opportunity to listen to it now several times, and I am delighted to report that in my opinion it is definitely her best offering to date.
There are a baker's dozen of carefully selected songs together with a short final reprise of the title track. Fay is also an academic who lectures on folk music and its role in the community at Sheffield University. She has done some fine research on a wide range of traditional songs, where she says " The sources are listed as starting points, but for each and every song changes have been made-some in large measure, some very small. For me, this is the process of making a song your own." She has certainly done that to great effect, ranging from The Hag in the Beck , a Yorkshire dialect poem from the 1600's, through to a cover of contemporary Tom Waits - The Briar and the Rose. Many of the songs were new to me , probably the best know is The Raggle Taggle Gypsy, where Fay and her band have produced a lovely uplifting jaunty version that is highly infectious and one of the album highlights, along with following track Katie Catch , a splendid adaptation of an old children's nursery rhyme.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Beautifully produced and the musicianship is all spot on. Quite a range of material. several songs are derived from obscure regional rhymes and have a macabre edge altogether. Others are well known but given a sound reworking like Raggle Taggle Gypsy and Long Time Ago. My favourite so far is the Willow Glen. Pretty song, perfectly done. An earlier review mentions 1970's kind of folk rock like Steeleye. I know what they mean. There is some electrified accompaniment and It is a bit avant garde in places. For example, I first played this cd in the car and some of the accompaniment on Hag of the Beck had me terrified that something had gone horribly wrong with car. It is a teeth-jarring sawmill like noise. Not nice but the song is not meant to be nice I suppose. Similarly the drumming in Old Adam had me worried for my suspension the first time I played it.
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Format: Audio CD
With this album Fay has had a tall order ahead of her. How does she match the greatness of her previous albums whilst not seeming to be doing "more of the same"?. Clearly this has been no rush job and this has been evident in the albums construction (even the packaging is delightful!). It is a real quality album. I have had it for the last couple of days and I cannot get 'raggle taggle gypsy' out of my head! (And I don't want to get it out either)
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Format: Audio CD
Another super album from my favourite female folk singer. The arrangements are excellent and the choice of songs flows easily throughout the album. I'm now torn as to whether Old Adam or Orfeo is my favourite Fay Hield album!
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Format: Audio CD
I caught Fay at the second gig of the tour at Buxton. Superb concert featuring all the songs from 'Old Adam' .
I got the cd at the interval from Fay herself. It's beautiful and continues in the English folk tradition. Is there anybody out there still singing in this way ? Eliza, once a big favourite has tried to crossover into pop. Fay Hield has delivered again, it's a great CD with really well crafted songs and such a variety, slow, fast, moody, cheerful and all in the 'tradition' ."Queen Eleanor's confession" reminded me (at Buxton) of Dylan and "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts" cos it's so wordy and and just builds and builds. BUY IT.
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I bought this album under the influence of the their mesmerising version of Tom Waits' the briar and the rose, but sadly this is untypical of the rest of the recording. I'm not a great fan of early English folk and by early I mean the early 70s folk of Steeleye Span but if you liked them, you'll love this album. As for me, I'll keep spinning it to see if it's a grower but it's not amongst my faves yet, well apart from the aforementioned track.
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I discovered Fay Hield through The Full English, captivating, I wish I had found her albums before
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