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Looking Glass

Compact Disc (Audio)
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Jewel Case
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Fay Hield has been singing traditional songs from an alarmingly early age. She was active in the lively music scene centred around the Famous Bacca Pipes Folk Club in Keighley, was instrumental in launching the Haworth Arts Festival and was part of a highly-regarded duo with Damien Barber. In 2001 she helped form The Witches Of Elswick - a female acapella quartet. The Witches recorded two widely acclaimed CDs Out Of Bed, (Fellside) and Hell's Belles (Selwyn Music) in their four years together, as well as clocking up numerous radio broadcasts (including a spot on Woman's Hour). Their true habitat, however, was in live performance, and they blazed their progress around the folk club and festival circuits. After a year or two off the folk radar, during which she researched her PhD thesis and discovered motherhood (one of each) and self-sufficiency (an allotment), Fay returned to public view via occasional performances with partner Jon Boden. By this time she and Jon had fetched up on the moorland fringes of Sheffield. In 2009 a new concert line-up with Rob Harbron (English Acoustic Collective) and Sam Sweeney (Bellowhead) came into being, built around a striking repertoire of often obscure material drawn from rarely-thumbed collections. This spicy stew of songs and ballads, catches and caprices is showcased on her debut solo CD - Looking Glass. Instrumentation includes fiddles, concertina, nyckelharpa, symphonie and guitar. The sound is at once crafty and nimble, airy and graceful, full of zest and nuance, sensitive to the tradition yet utterly distinctive. Fay leads with a voice whose rough edges are still thrillingly intact, and which goes straight to the living heart of the songs.


  1. Name
  2. The Huntsman
  3. Mad Family
  4. Two Brothers
  5. The Looking Glass
  6. Little Yellow Roses
  7. The Banks Of The Nile
  8. Kemp Owen
  9. Sheepcrook and Black Dog
  10. Grey Goose and Gander
  11. The Sheperd's Daughter
  12. King Henry
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