December 2016 sees the highly anticipated second release from Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith. Their new studio album ‘Night Hours’ is a powerful collection of songs that brings a new relevance to the traditional music of the British Isles and showcases some poignant compositions. The album links the hardship of working people throughout history with the struggles of marginalised communities today, but it achieves it with a lightness and musicality that makes the album a joy to listen to. Watch their new video (filmed by Andrew Friend) for the title track which explores the loneliness of night work in our cities, it’s also our Song of the Day.
Over the last three years, the duo have built a reputation on the UK folk scene for arresting and moving performances. The songs themselves are always given centre stage but they are brought to life with sensitive arrangements and beautiful vocals. There is an integrity that shines through their performances, where a sense of justice and morality underlie every song. This album captures that live experience.
Through the course of the album, the listener really gains a sense of two artists who not only have a passion for the music but also its ability to reflect on the world as they see it, such as on the song above and ‘The Ballad of Yorkley Court’ which shines a light on a community finding themselves on the wrong side of power in the Forest of Dean.
Even the traditional material that the duo have chosen seems to have a new relevance to the modern world. For example, the ‘Bonny Bunch of Roses,’ warning against the dangers of chasing the spoils of war, feels hugely poignant given the current instability in the world.
They are joined on the album by James Gavin, Tommie Black-Roff, and Dominic Henderson who play together as TEYR (recently a Featured Album of the Month, reviewed here). These sparkling touches of fiddle, accordion, pipes and whistles give the album a driving energy.
Sid is also well known on the folk scene for his work with Radio 2 Folk Award winner Ewan McLennan and appears on the forthcoming album with Ewan and George Monbiot ‘Breaking the Spell of Loneliness’ (another recently Featured Album, reviewed here). He also records and produces albums for other artists.
Following the release of ‘Night Hours,’ the duo will be doing a few select concerts to mark the release in November and December 2016 and will be touring the UK in the Spring of 2017. Their live sets always have a sense of warmth and intimacy whether on the main stages at folk festivals or in the clubs around the country and consistent repeat bookings speak for themselves.
GREEN NOTE, LONDON – Monday 14th November
BRISTOL FOLK HOUSE, BRISTOL – Sunday 4th December
THE KITCHEN GARDEN CAFÉ, BIRMINGHAM – Tuesday 6th December
THE BICYCLE SHOP, NORWICH – Wednesday 7th December
OXFORD FOLK WEEKEND, OXFORD – Saturday 22nd April
THE WILLOWS FOLK CLUB, KIRKHAM PRESTON – Wednesday 26th April
NORWICH FOLK CLUB, NORWICH – Friday 12th May
KNOCKENGORROCH WORL CEILIDH, CASTLE DOUGLAS – Thursday 25th May – Saturday 27th May
HORSHAM FOLK CLUB, HORSHAM – Sunday 28th May
FOLK AT THE HALL 2017, RHYL – Saturday 8th July
Night Hours is released December 9th via Fellside Records
Photo Credit: Paul Blakemore