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".

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