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State And Ancientry CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 April 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Rootbeat
  • ASIN: B0070HSIOG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,154 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Highly anticipated second album from acclaimed English folk duo Hannah James & Sam Sweeney. Traditional and newly-composed tunes and songs played with their customary verve. Hannah James & Sam Sweeney are one of the foremost duos performing English folk music today. 2012 sees the release of their highly anticipated second album 'State and Ancientry' They play predominantly English songs and tunes on accordion and fiddle, and their live show includes Hannah's renowned high-energy clog dancing. Their debut 'Catches & Glees' (RBRCD07) was critically acclaimed and the following year they were nominated for the Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2010. Described by Sam as having "a fuller sound, a richer palette of sonic textures" 'State and Ancientry' breaks new ground for the duo. "It's a marked step up in the way we approach music. We embraced the duo setting rather than trying to compress an ensemble sound into just the two of us, which has helped us be more creative with the material." Produced by Andy Bell, it will be released on 2nd April 2012. Also available RBRCD07 'Catches & Glees'

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Format: Audio CD
State and Ancientry is Hannah James and Sam Sweeney's follow up to their debut album `Catches and Glees'. It is a wonderful album from two of folk music's rising stars. In the three years since this album was released, the duo have been busy with myriad projects - including Bellowhead, Jon Boden, Fay Hield (Sweeney) and Lady Maisery and Demon Barbers (James).

It has been worth the wait: their sound has matured into a distinctive style with a much greater depth and texture. Sam plays a variety of stringed instruments including the Scandinavian Hardanger fiddle and Nykelharpa, which contribute to the characteristic sound. Hannah is the foremost young accordionist in the Country and the owner of an angelic voice. The result is a rich tapestry of ancient tunes (many sourced from Playford's Dancing Master) and songs; and more contemporary works including some of their own compositions.

It is hard to single out particular tracks when the whole is of such high quality, but highlights include their particularly innovative treatment of `William Taylor' with an accordion motif redolent of Paris; and `How do you do? / Gallons of Cognac' to name but one of the intricate tune sets. The album also includes the tune with the silliest name ever, the wonderfully entitled `Parson upon Dorothy'; which is paired with a catchy little song called `Dolly'. The tune sets contrast with the simplicity of the one unaccompanied song, `There was a lady who lived in the West' which is sung beautifully by Hannah.

What makes the music so interesting is the way they take these old tunes and freshen them up. The accordion and fiddle weave in and out, building layer upon layer of sound, complex yet delicate; and all played with great charm. Highly recommended - and if you get the opportunity, go and see them - their live set includes Hannah's renowned clog dancing.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This music is fantastic. I have hardly had it off my CD player since I bought it. In fact, I ordered two by mistake, but rather than send one back I will give it someone to spread the joy. I have no idea how Hannah James makes the usually gigantic and overwhelming sound of the piano accordion sound so soft and beautiful - I am used to hearing it as a brash Scottish instrument, but not here! A lady of rare talent - and such a lovely voice. Sam's fiddle is sweet and soulful - pure genius. Buying this CD was money well spent. I think its the best I have bought this year.
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I've been hooked since my first listen 3 weeks ago and since then it has been on constant loop in my car! Normally, I just have ears for the tunes, but the songs have such great stories running through them that they hold my interest as much as the fabulous, toe-tapping tunes do! Hannah's voice has matured incredibly since the first album and Sam's playing is totally sublime. I'm wrapped up in Hannah's accordion playing and completely stumped that I have only 8 buttons on the left hand of my melodeon so I can't re-create the rich and full sound that these two do!
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Format: Audio CD
Hannah and Sam's first album, the charming 'Catches and Glees', was released back in 2009; since then the duo seem to have further developed their sound, resulting in a much fuller-sounding and assured second album.

Since the 'State and Ancientry' launch, back in February, this collection of tunes and songs has topped my `most played' list.

The record starts with `Hole In The Wall', a flowing hornpipe which makes an excellent opening track. Other tune sets include the beautiful `How Do You Do? / Gallons Of Cognac' and the foot-tapping `Battered Hake Polka /
Jack's Maggot'.

My favourite track on the album is `The Farmer's Cursed Wife', a humorous story of a woman so evil she gets kicked out of hell. The clear vocals are accompanied by a catchy tune - one of many on the album.

This new album is a great showcase of duo's immense talent, not least in the range of instruments and styles that have been portrayed. It's topped off by being wonderfully mixed and produced, allowing the clever arrangements to shine through.

Already looking forward to the next instalment; here's to album #3!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a record of great integrity. Even better than "Catches & Glees". Head & shoulders above most current folk releases, in a class of its own. I suppose you could categorise this as "folk", but it transcends the idiom. A fine, mature achievement by these two outstanding young musicians. You will be listening to this for many years to come.
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I bought this CD after buying their first one when that came out. I wasn't disapointed, another excellent album and well worth getting. Hannahs voice is beautiful and having just seen them live her clogg dancing is a marvel to behold!! If you like any form of acoustic/folk/roots music you will like this album.
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