Fifty Verses

Melrose Quartet

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In Stock
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2-5 days
August 19, 2013

Format: Compact Disc



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Hugely anticipated debut studio album from Sheffield folk powerhouse Melrose Quartet, featuring Nancy Kerr, James Fagan, Rich and Jess Arrowsmith. This is harmony singing at its best.

Melrose Quartet formed in Sheffield in 2010, combining two folk duos - Nancy Kerr (fiddle, voice) & James Fagan (voice, bouzouki) and Jess & Richard Arrowsmith - (fiddle, melodeon and voices) into a new band with a tremendous power to showcase acoustic music, whether instrumental, unaccompanied, old, new or self-penned. 2012 was an active year, seeing them perform to great acclaim at festivals countrywide. They were voted Audience's Number 1 in 2012 Towersey Festival's Top 10 Artists.

"Four well established stars with an excitement that stems from brilliant harmony singing and fresh bright instrumentals. They show a unity on stage and an affinity for the music, and clearly enjoy performing together. Only very rare talents can draw both the largest and smallest audiences into an intimacy like this." Thank Goodness it's Folk, Sheffield Live 93.2 fm.

Masterfully engineered by Andy Bell, 'Fifty Verses' captures the band's epic instrumental sound and the magical intimacy of their vocals, with the strength of their chosen material always to the fore.

Much of 'Fifty Verses' richness of content and style is owed to the influence of Sheffield's notably vibrant musical identity. The title track, composed by Nancy Kerr, is set in an urban garden and uses language from traditional songs to explore aging, memory and the relationship between city and countryside. Opening song 'Santa Georgia' - another Kerr original - binds together rural and industrial imagery to celebrate the bittersweetness of putting down roots in a modern British city, with a rousing folk chorus inspired by the band's immersion in community song.

Jess Arrowsmith is a writer of rare quality and her seasonal love song 'Wedding Bells' uses the distinctive qualities of each singer to resonant and romantic effect. You can hear each voice at equal strength in the earthy canon 'When You Were Born', while the intertwining of the two female voices is a particular feature of songs like the traditional borderline-bawdy 'Wanton Wife of Castlegate'. Jess's own powerful vocals lead the a capella finale - favourite spiritual 'Bright Morning Star'.

The quartet's fresh take on classic-sounding unaccompanied singing is heard again on Paul Wilson's rousing 'Bampton Fair' - the story of modernity colliding with tradition at an ancient gypsy horse fair; 'The Twelve Apostles' - a Newfoundland version of Green Grow the Rushes; and Gloucestershire's 'Shepherd's Song', led by Richard Arrowsmith's mellow baritone. James Fagan revisits George Dunn and Peter Bellamy's shaping of the powerhouse 'The Death'.

More Info

Key Value
Catalogue number MQCD02
Barcode 0643157425564
Number of items 1
Packaging type Digipak
Imported No
Weight 70g
Dimensions (LxWxH) 120mm x 10mm x 140mm

Disc 1

Track Listing — Disc 1

Song Title Time
1. Santa Georgia -
2. The Death Of Nelson -
3. Fifty Verses -
4. Wedding Bells -
5. Tom Tolley's; Lucy's Two -
6. Bampton Fair -
7. The Wanted Wife Of Castlegate -
8. Shepherd's Song -
9. Polkas -
10. Come And I Will Sing You -
11. When You Were Born; Marches -
12. Bright Morning Star -