Betty Beetroot Records
Gloriously Inspired Folk/Lo-Fi Crossover For All Ages.
I had no intention of reviewing this album this morning; in fact four hours ago I didn’t even know it existed and even when I opened the envelope Lucy Ward’s name only vaguely registered and when I read she was a Folk Award winner I was left a bit non-plussed, as British Folk records aren’t the first thing I reach for.
But……and I will never know what made me do it; I pressed ‘play’ as the CD downloaded onto the RMHQ Laptop.
As my dear departed father used to say, “God moves in mysterious ways.”
Perhaps it was the beautifully simple piano intro to Silver Morning; or more likely Lauren Ward’s amazing pearlescent voice that made me reluctantly smile, as I sipped my coffee and skimmed through my e-mails.
The next song; an almost Technicolour epic called Cold Caller filled the room with an ethereal charm that first time; and subsequently the multi-layered and almost Gothic tale has seeped into my soul; and now I can’t wait to listen to it on headphones as I just know there is still a lot more to unravel.
Music effects people in many different ways; and today the songs on Pretty Warnings are just perfect for my mood on a grey and cold Tuesday morning that followed a warm and sunny Bank Holiday weekend that I had to work all four days.
Obviously there is a spine made of traditional ‘Folk Music’ here; most perceptible in Lucy’s Northern phrasing on Fair & Tender Ladies and the delightfully dark and gloomy Murder Ballad Bill Norrie; but both and more noticeably the traditional Welsh ballad Mari Fach; but all have a crossover charm that is almost Lo-Fi and to another, older generation would just have been found on a Singer-Songwriter album.
So, on a dark and brooding Folk record what would I possibly choose as a ‘Favourite Song’? Well, it’s been a touch easier than you’d imagine. Perhaps it was the mood I was in earlier; perhaps it made me think of my Grandchildren or perhaps I’m just a silly old sod, but track #3 the ethereal Sunshine Child totally caught me by surprise and before I knew what was happening found tears slowly running down my cheeks.
There’s not a lot more I can say; Lucy Ward has created a record she can be very proud of and music fans of all ages will appreciate the hard work that has been put in to make these songs sound oh so simple.
*I’ve just checked and while I can’t find the actual original document; but it appears I reviewed Lucy’s album SINGLE FLAME many years ago in 2013 when I was a writer for a once important Roots music magazine.
Released 15th June