Sunday, 28 October 2012

MUSIC REVIEW: Wake the Union - Show of Hands

Release Date: 15/10/12


England's finest roots duo weave a touch of Folk, a hint of Blues and a tiny pinch of Country into their new studio album. Born out of a love of both English and North American acoustic and roots music, 'Wake the Union', the eagerly awaited new Show of Hands studio album takes a journey through the heart of two landscapes united by a common tongue and musical heritage. Produced by Mark Tucker, the 15 tracks feature themes and styles that alternate between the two countries. In the first three songs the Knightley/Lakeman co-write 'Haunt You' tells a tale of a tormented seafarer, whilst the new Knightley-penned track 'Company Town' shows a Tom Waits influence and the festival favourite 'Now You Know' implores a lost love to return to the West Country to rekindle a relationship. Celebrating 20 years as a unit with a 4th sell-out appearance at the Royal Albert Hall earlier this year, Steve Knightley and Phil Beer have enlisted an impressive array of guest musicians on the recording including Martin Simpson, Seth Lakeman, BJ Cole, Andy Cutting, Bellowhead's Paul Sartin, Cormac Byrne and Canadian Leonard Podolak, and as ever Miranda Sykes adds her wonderful double bass and vocals.


For a number of years I’ve been following Show of Hands as I’m a huge fan of their type of music having grown up in the Lake District with a few folk clubs. So having enjoyed previous titles they’ve produced, I was looking forward to the latest one and have to say that for me its one of their best to date. That takes you through the full emotional spectrum whether you want the emotional turmoil presented within “Katrina” or “Coming Home” through to the heartache with “Cruel River” and “Seven Curse”s alongside anger in the “I Will Haunt You.”

Yet for all that the Album has its uplifting tracks and the wonderful musical talent goes within through a very unique combination of Blues, Folk and a touch of Country that brings the best of all together. All in this is a top notch album that includes tracks that you’ll sing along to as well as listen to the lamentation. Great stuff and an album that will be listened to quite a few times.

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