Featuring members of Gilmore & Roberts, Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage and The Willows, it’s no surprise that A Winter Union’s Sooner After Solstice showcases a band bursting with individual brilliance. Crucially though, A Winter Union produce a sound so much greater than the sum of their parts; this is a record full of the joy, passion and life – the magic captured between 5 friends in a room singing the music they love. The band give nods to both British and American folk traditions. ‘The Trees of Old England’ sees the quintet add a new wassail to the traditional repertoire and ‘Minstrels’ sets to music Wordsworth’s poem about the rigours of music making in the depths of the British winter. Meanwhile, Jethro Tull’s ‘Ring Out, Solstice Bells’ opens the album with a transatlantic feel with mandolin and dobro riffs a-plenty; and the raucous ‘Rise Up Shepherd’ finds the band belting out gospel-tinged choruses to an earthy blues jam backing.
Whilst there is no shortage of Christmas party here, there are plenty of moments for reflection and poignancy: Jamie’s reworking of Graeme Miles’ ‘Snows Of Winter’ is a beautiful declaration of love amidst the freeze and Katriona’s ‘Raise A Candle’ offers a moment of reflection at a time of year which is so challenging for so many.
“We’ve long looked upon our December tour as a kind of month-long Christmas party”
Artists’ website: https://www.facebook.com/winterunion/?locale=en_GB
‘Minstrels’ – official video:
1 December – OTLEY, the Court House
2 December – STRATFORD UPON AVON. Playhouse
5 December – NORWICH – Playhouse
6 December – BURTON UPON TRENT, Brewhouse Arts
7 December – BATH, Chapel Arts
8 December – WHITCHURCH, Talbot Centre
9 December – SHEFFIELD, the Greystones
10 December – SALTAIRE, the LIVE ROOM
12 December – BRISTOL, St George’s
13 December – LONDON, Kings Place
14 December – WINCHESTER, the Arc
15 December –CAMBRIDGE, Storey’s Field
16 December – BARTON UPON HUMBER, the ROPEWALK
17 December – NOTTINGHAM, the POPPY & PINT
18 December – GATESHEAD, the SAGE
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