This week marks the release of a very notable debut EP from Country Parish Music, a new studio-based project led by singer Rosemary Lippard and former Owl Service main man Steven Collins. You can get a flavour of their music below with the track Lord Lovell. Their songs focus around the British folk tradition (and occasionally beyond) but as with the music of the Owl Service they bring a very refreshing and innovative approach with their interpretations that leave you wanting more. The EP titled ‘Introducing’ is available as 12″ in September and as a download now via the Stone Tape Recordings Store here.
Whether intentional or not the term ‘Country Parish Music’ is an interesting one which I recently discovered is a form of Sacred harp Singing, a term many of you will be more familiar with. Sacred Harp Singing, although well rooted in the US, has risen in popularity in the UK in recent years thanks to the likes of American musician Tim Eriksen (who has a very good UK following) as well as Cath Tyler (both were in Cordelia’s Dad) who teaches Sacred Harp Singing in the UK (details of courses here). I came across reference to it in Stephen A. Marini’s Sacred Song in America: Religion, Music, and Public Culture which described a new style of English sacred song called country parish music which allowed small rural communities to accompany songs in limited numbers. “It was the sort of music John and Charles Wesley heard and sang growing up in their father’s Anglican parish at rural Epworth in Lincolnshire.”
Keep these two on your radar for 2013!