[sic] Magazine

Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou – Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou

My knowledge of Folk is fairly limited but I can still tell this is a bit special – it couldn’t be described as anything but Folk, though it’s not hard to imagine a transatlantic Americana audience falling for it’s melodic charms. The simple Pop beauty on tracks like “Heaven Knows” and “Ruth Drink My Whiskey” are commercial enough to attack the charts with sympathetic airplay.

This is defiantly British Folk but if an American is writ large across the tracks it is the blood of Bob Dylan that flows here, though you are unlikely to immediately think that with titles like “Allotment Song”. But listen and the harmonica on it leaves little doubt. It’s a lovely sketch of an old boy with an allotment. Could be a metaphor but I think not. The songs play as a collection of vignettes of small moments. The small moments that when stated correctly can seem profound and poetic. Second track “One Wednesday In June” typifies this “poetry of the ordinary” by deceptively simple statement of a days events. Such is the smooth acoustic melancholic mood of Concorde it takes me a couple of plays to realise it’s about that 20th century iconic plane.

Social commentary is low key. “England” is a eulogy to an imperfect place and here Hannah’s voice leaves the Folkie and sounds more smokey, a slow twirl around the empty ballroom with the ghost of Ewan MacColl . “These Are Your Days” examines casts a withering eye over modern mores, sarcastically showing up greed and self obsession in a bluegrass style.

The final 3 tracks are magical and timeless. “Half Way Home” is perhaps what might be expected most of Folk, madrigal like, Hannah-Lou harmonising with (I assume) herself on over-dubs. “The Lion & The Unicorn” allows a “modern” keyboard sound to bleed in (though modern meaning about 1974) to its’ celebration of heraldic (and frankly unattainable and lost) Great Britishness. Lyrically I’m a bit uneasy with its seemingly rose tinted view of the Old Country. “Some Dreaming To Do” shows why The Magic Numbers Romeo Stodart is on board for some production duties (aside from his musical involvement with Moss and H-L’s The Lantern Players). It wouldn’t sound out of place on a Mamas & Papas “Best Of” and tops the album with a low in the mix Woolworths guitar wibble out that is the icing on the cake. A small gap and “England” is reprised on a pub piano with birdsong, horse hooves and finally an ominous helicopter.

While not remotely emulating them they seem to be shaping up to take their place at the table with great Folk couples like Richard & Linda Thompson and Ewan McColl & Peggy Seeger .