published: 18 /
Cup and Ring
Extraordinary second album from alternative/psych folk artist Henry Parker which while at one level influenced by the past also looks to the future
Even his name - Henry Parker - evokes a certain Englishness, and his own brand of alternative/psych folk certainly fails to disappoint by a country mile. And if early Fairport Convention is your particular acoustic bag, then ;Lammas Fair' should be on your Santa’s wish list. Parker serves up ten glorious songs that not only celebrate the genre, but gently expand it a little. I am led to believe that there is a Sixties/Seventies revival, and if so this is Exhibit A for the defence. You can sense the ghosts of Bert Jansch and Nick Drake nodding approvingly at the guitar work on show and the lyrical delivery of Parker.
Much has been deployed about Parker’s interest in the changing ecology, which brings a contemporary spin but also brings aspects of the folk idiom bang up to date. He has concerns - for example 'Travelling For A Living' compares and contrasts itinerant workers of the past with the
plight of today's immigrant workforce. He is also not afraid to engage with traditional songs - 'Death And The Lady' and 'The Brisk Lad' - and special mentions must be afforded to Richard Curran, Theo Travis and the rest of the musicians who have committed their craft to this project.
'Lammas Fair' is a strong sequel to his 2019 debut 'Silent Spring', showing that any doubts about tricky second albums was unfounded. Its is sonically enticing and beautifully produced, displaying top notch compositional and instrumental talent. I like the way he has included his
tunings and Capo settings for each song.Henry Parker may be working within a genre that tends to look towards the past, but this doesn’t stop him from transforming expectations and looking squarely towards the future. A fine record indeed
Return to the Sky
Travelling for a Living
Death and the Lady
Nine Herbs Charm
The Brisk Lad
Coming of the Spring
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