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Orfeo (w/The Hurricane Party)

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 May 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Topic
  • ASIN: B007YBTH3O
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,023 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Orfeo marks a bold and confident step for Fay Hield. The album contains powerful interpretations of traditional material and finds Fay fronting an all-star band with Jon Boden, Andy Cutting, Sam Sweeney and Rob Harbron Working with the virtuoso all-star HURRICANE PARTY – Jon Boden, Andy Cutting, Rob Harbron and Sam Sweeney – Fay Hield has crafted a truly remarkable second album for Topic Records. The album is destined to be recognised as one of the finest albums of the year. The powerful arrangements of traditional songs are fabulously focused around her voice. With such an impressive array of musicians the instrumental interplay will come as little surprise. Listeners will find the obvious joy of music-making from Fay and the band quite infectious.

Review

#7 - Album Of The Year --fRoots Critics Poll

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was put onto this by Amazon's suggestion - spooky how they seemed to know you better than even your nearest and dearest. But this is a fine record with real sensitivity and intelligence in both its songs and musical range. I agree with the reviewer who said that Fay Hield has heard her Maddy Prior - there is also the darker timbre of the early June Tabor in her voice. What Fay Hield is also similarly good at is understanding the importance of the lyric of traditional folk and the need to tell the story. The playing reflects this - just listen to the cumulative sound of The Cuckoo or the dark and shade of The Lover's Ghost. The song Henry is genuinely disturbing and again uses different dynamics to underpin the narrative. Most interesting is the last track Naughty Baby which has the medieval chamber sound of something by Jordi Savall all to Deutschland uber Alles. Fay Hield wears her academic credentials lightly (shouldn't it be Dr Hield) but you can hear all the experience of Andy Cutting and Jon Boden in working with a stripped back sond.

I have only given 4 stars as I think this band has the potential to go a step further and make a further imaginative leap into merging traditional folk music with a modern edginess.But it is still an extremely good record so buy this if you have any interest in the further renewal of English folk music - oh and thank you Amazon but don't stalk me too much.
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Format: Audio CD
The first album from Fay Hield, "Looking Glass" was a simply wonderful piece of work - check out my review for full details - so, whilst I've been genuinely looking forward to her new album, I've also been concerned. Just how was she going to top her debut? Would she even try?

It's a common belief that sequels are never as good as the debuts, and one of the oft-quoted exceptions is "Godfather 2", where the sequel is held to be as good as, and possibly better, than the original. This album, then, is the folk equivalent of "Godfather 2".

Fay has not strayed too far from her template - articulate, literate songs in a traditional vein performed with gusto and/or delicacy. The difference here is the Hurricane Party. They have brought an added depth and a warmer, rounded sound - the perfect partner for Fay's beautiful voice: I've seen Fay live a few times, and the musicians have always been an integral part of the live experience - that they're fully acknowledged here is well-deserved.

Simply put, this is an exceptionally good album and one that you'll get a lot of joy from owning. Buy it. You need it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Fay Hield embodies a lot of what I got into folk music for: a powerful, simple sound that conveys the earthy and the ancient, with passion and humour, a truly timeless style. This album only once strays into that unpleasant territory know as (say it with a shudder) "music hall" but otherwise it's a damn fine album. I love it.
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Format: Audio CD
The nice thing about the opening track "The Lover's Ghost" is that it leaves you in no doubt that Fay Hield and the Hurricane Party are here to kick up a storm and not meekly come in like the wind that shakes the barley. With lyrics that are perhaps more suitable to accompany "Wake Wood" (one of the latest Hammer Horror movies) this homage to the Gothic strain of English `folk' songs really propels the growing disquiet of the piece at a cracking pace. The menacing interplay between Andy Cutting and Rob Harbron's squeezeboxes and Sam Sweeny and Jon Boden's strings with guest Martin Simpson's banjo tastefully added low in the mix (and no, I don't mean that to sound derisory) topped by Hield's thrusting vocals are reminiscent of Maddy Pryor at her towering best. In a thoroughly theatrical work-out that places the interpretation of the song leagues above any other version I've encountered recently it would be just reward for purchasing a copy of the album on the strength of this one track alone. But of course in the hands of this talented ensemble I'm pleased to report that of each of the eleven numbers featured here there isn't a duff one amongst them. Talking of Ms Pryor, I'm sure that Fay's singing style has been greatly influenced by Steeleye's first lady particularly on "Tarry Trousers" where the phrasing and diction clear delivery could have been taken straight from the vaults of Summer Solstice or Please To See The King. This by the way is a compliment of the highest order and one that would surely win gold if it were pitched into a vocal version of the 2012 Olympics.Read more ›
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