We have a song premiere today from the amazingly talented traditional singer and folklorist Fay Hield. Green Gravel is taken from her forthcoming album, Old Adam (out 12th Feb 2016) which will also feature on her new digital single (out on 30th October 2015), released to coincide with three special live shows (details of which are below). After hearing it you’ll understand instantly why we also chose it as our Song of the Day:
Fay has selected the many versions of ‘Green Gravel’ recorded by Alice Bertha Gomme in ‘The Traditional Games of England Scotland and Ireland’ and woven them together in a moving, atmospheric and affecting way. The song has links to burial ceremonies, with green gravel representing the newly turned grave, though there is no suggestion this rhyme was performed at burials, more that children took the ideas of life, love and death into their own sphere.
Also on the single is ‘Willow Glen’,a broadside found in both Frank Kidson and Lucy Broadwood’s collections and Fay’s version was recently featured in acclaimed tours by The Full English ensemble. While the reference to Willow Glen has been linked to many human emotions and negative states, Fay liked this particular song for the glen’s soothing and protective qualities. ‘The image drawn of a secluded paradise where lovers could hide is gorgeous.’.
Fay’s 3rd solo album, Old Adam contains 14 tracks and is a fresh and original exploration of how we use stories and music to understand what it means to be human. Fay’s distinctive and naturalistic singing style has won her critical acclaim for her previous solo albums (Looking Glass / 2010 and Orfeo / 2012, both Topic Records) including several BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and a nomination for Folk Singer of the Year.
Fay is accompanied by her stellar band, The Hurricane Party; Rob Harbron (English Concertina, fiddle, vocals), Sam Sweeney (fiddle, viola, cello, nyckelharpa, vocals), Roger Wilson (fiddle, guitar, mandolin and vocals), expanded to include Ben Nicholls (Bass) and Toby Kearney (Percussion) and special guests (Fay’s partner) Jon Boden and guitar maestro, Martin Simpson.
Upcoming Live Shows
15 October 2015 Sheffield, The Crucible
17 October 2015 Bury, Homegrown Festival
5 November 2015 London, Cecil Sharp House
Fay Hield will tour with The Hurricane Party in February and March 2016. www.fayhield.com