Alice Gerrard is a country and bluegrass singer from way back when, who has played a hell of a lot of banjo in her time, and collaborated with artists such as Mike Seeger. 'Follow the Music' shows she's still kicking with performances of folk standards and some of her own songs. It's produced by M.C. Taylor of the rootsy folk group Hiss Golden Messenger. I have checked, and it is definitely a folk record.
Vinyl LP £15.99 TSQ5067
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CD £12.99 TSQ5050
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The first thing to say is that this is a very traditional folk album. Alice Gerrard is now 80 years of age of age and this will be the first time she has been heard by contemporary music listeners and part of the reason for that is the name of M C Taylor on the back of the production chair. The Hiss Golden Messenger chap has long been a fan of Gerrard and describes in the liner notes the honour of working with her.
Sensibly he’s set her songs in an organic and sparse backdrop using a variety of players (including members of Megafaun) to back her up crediting himself only with ‘acoustic guitar’. The music whilst old timey will appeal to fans of modern day ‘alt’ country. ‘Strange Land’ is the most immediately satisfying track on offer - a back porch dirge with Gerrard sounding crestfallen throughout. Lively fiddles drive on ‘Wedding Dress’, a traditional folk shanty but there’s darkness behind these tales and Gerrard’s thin grainy voice is a distinctive lead amongst the plucking banjo’s.
It is however very traditional and although ‘Bollweavil’ has a dark dirgy heart, you have to turn a way away from alt country to get there and you’ll need to be a fan of the country folk genre to really appreciate it.
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