Going back to the start for debut album by folk angel

FAMILY TIES: Hannah Sanders, guest of Spalding Folk Club in June, based the contents of debut album "Charms Against Sorrow" on "years of singing when I was growing up". Photo by Sid Caesar.

Charms Against Sorrow, Hannah Sanders, Sungrazing Records

Spalding Folk Club welcomed Norfolk folk dame Hannah Sanders and her Cambridgeshire music partner Ben Savage to its monthly session in June.

The pair played material from their debut album together, Before The Sun, which combines original songs with covers of music by Native American Bill Miller, US folk legend Pete Seeger and even Bob Dylan.

But Hannah has also struck out on her own with the album Charms Against Sorrow, 11 songs that tell the story of a life surrounded by folk music.

As she explained to Spalding Folk Club, most songs from the genre are about tragedy, death and misfortune, best illustrated by the tracks I’ll Weave My Love and Garland, Bonnie Bunch of Roses and the tale of Miles Weatherhill and Sarah Bell.

But there are also lighter moments in Joshuay, I Gave My Love a Cherry and A Sailor’s Life, a song which Hannah called “one of the most gratifying songs I have ever sung unaccompanied”.

There is also American Michael Hurley’s song, The Werewolf who Hannah described as “a character of torment and pain”, along with well-known folk additions Pleasant and Delightful and Lord Franklin.

Review by Winston Brown

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