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ANGE HARDY - Bare Foot Folk

ANGE HARDY - Bare Foot Folk
Story Records AHBFF001

I always find myself wishing I could be at a live performance of this kind of music. Ange Hardy makes you want to sit at her feet while she takes you into her confidence. Straight and pure singing with a simple effective accompaniment, Ange Hardy has a sweet soft voice and her guitar playing is just right.

Some of the songs indeed have the feel of being ‘old trad’, though all newly written by Hardy. Some reflect Irish folk, some English and some American Appalachian, especially with a lot of tracks sung in two or more voices. There are some great lyrics and a lovely mix between trad and contemporary styles. It’s a rare thing to be able to put into proper lyrics all the life experience that Ange Hardy has been through. It’s not enough just to write stuff down and set it to music - it has to strike a chord in others who have not had the same experience. Ange Hardy has done just that.

I wish I could hear a bit more of the aforementioned life experience in the sound of this album though. There must have been anger and pain in there somewhere. And I can hardly find it. Sweetness, love, reminiscence, yes, and even honest religious feeling, but mostly they just sound like nice folksongs. The lyrics may be full of meaning, but they need a bit more depth in the way they are sung. It’s in there somewhere, I can imagine it and I would dearly love for it to break out more. It would also make the whole a bit more dynamic.

There is one enormous exception - Waste Wanting. There is the burning scar of reality. I felt that one - Hardy sings that one differently. It’s like she heaves a sigh and lets go of the slightly archaic form that comes with trad-like lyrics and finally sings in the language of her heart...ouch...and thank you for that.

Annemarie de Bie

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This album was reviewed in Issue 97 of The Living Tradition magazine.