Saturday, November 12, 2011
Nancy Wallace "Old Stories" (2009)
I'm no expert on British folk music. A couple of factors immediately reduce my enjoyment -- the heavy reliance on ballads in the repertoire, & the style of singing. The combination seems to make the music seem .... well, soft. It's interesting to me that there doesn't seem to be a British equivalent to bluegrass. Hyped up, modernized versions of traditional material. My shot from the hip explanation is that the UK folk scene developed more from a strictly preservationist perspective. Without the commercial impetus for change, the music never really got modernized a la folk music in the US.
At any rate, this record by Nancy Wallace is a very nice example of contemporary British folk. There's a mix of traditional & contemporary pieces, combined with simple arrangements. There's a contemporary feel without the additional of electronic or other instruments that signify "hey I'm modern & hip".