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Stick In The Wheel drop the second of their wonderful From Here compilations. As with 2017’s first collection, this set finds the Bristol duo venturing around the country to take the pulse of English folk music as it stands in these extraordinary times. Richard Dawson, Rachel Unthank and Nancy Kerr are but three of the contributing artists. From Here: English Folk Field Recordings Volume 2 is a necessary record.

Vinyl LP £15.99 SITW011LP

LP on From Here Records incl. C Joynes, Richard Dawson, Nancy Kerr, Cath & Phil Tyler, Rachel Unthank etc.

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CD £9.49 SITW011CD

CD on From Here Records incl. C Joynes, Richard Dawson, Nancy Kerr, Cath & Phil Tyler, Rachel Unthank etc.

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present From Here: English Folk Field Recordings Volume 2 by Stick In The Wheel
1 review. Write a review for us »
8/10 Will Staff review, 27 March 2019

The term ‘modern folk’ is a term that elicits in me the same feeling as when someone says ‘Modern jazz’ or ‘gastropub’; it’s a sense of displacement and difference. That initial discomfort aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this compilation of ‘modern folk’ from Stuck in the Wheel.

The full title of this compilation is ‘From Here: English Folk Field Recordings Volume 2’, it’s a, as the liner notes state, ‘snapshot of the English folk scene right now’. They are all relatively lo-fi recordings, recorded on location all over England with ‘two pairs of microphones’ (why not just say ‘four’? That’s my two cents, anyway). There is everything here we love from proper field recordings. I adore the little elements that aren’t planned but add the overall tapestry of the album, from the faints sniffs from C Jones you can hear on ‘Cottenham Medley’, the lovely opening sigh on ‘Ladle/Richmond’ by Cath and Phil Tyler, and the clicks of fingers on concertina buttons on ‘Barbera Allen’ by Mary Humphreys and Anahata. This compilation is a scintillating work. There’s something very disarming about hearing a voice stripped of its studio embroidery, lacking compression, reverb, echo, or panning; it’s almost as if you aren’t meant to be hearing it which is what, I suppose, field recordings are meant to do.

Once again I return to the liner notes, which say that the compilation is ‘not the collecting of songs’ but the ‘documenting of a continuum that thrives’. When you hear field recordings, such as Alan Lomax’s amazingly comprehensive documentation of the folk tradition of the Deep South (as well as elsewhere), there is always the sense that the songs began before you put your headphones on and continue after you stop listening, and this is exactly the effect that ‘From Here’ achieves.





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