Following the success of their 2022 debut album A Year Too Late And A Month Too Soon which earned the pair five star reviews and global airplay, Bryony Griffith & Alice Jones present a brand new collection of winter songs and tunes sourced from their beloved native county of Yorkshire. Together they have unearthed a treasure trove of traditional gems, featuring uniquely local versions of more classic seasonal songs, intuitively arranged to cast a spotlight on the rich traditions, tales and winter rituals they depict.
The album’s title, Wesselbobs, refers to a local pastime whereby decorated, evergreen boughs, built around a spherical frame, were carried door to door by Wassailers or carol singers in the 18 and 1900s. Also known as Wessel-bobs, Wassail-bobs or Wesley-bobs, it most notably occurred in the communities of West Yorkshire.
This carefully curated compilation of 12 wintery offerings features Bryony and Alice’s signature sound of fiddle, harmonium, tenor guitar and body percussion, combined with their beautifully matched vocals and intricate harmonies, and of course, their trademark regional accents.
The album opens with the driving fiddle and harmonium rhythms of their previously released, and highly acclaimed 2022 Christmas charity single ‘Early Pearly’, perfectly setting the tone for the infectious and rousing music that follows.
Rarities include the hauntingly atmospheric ‘Hagman-Heigh’, the only unaccompanied track on the album and one which exposes the very likely Yorkshire roots of the Hogmanay tradition, a boldly controversial statement if you happen to be in the vicinity of a Scottish person; but its origins can be traced back to its first known mention in 1443… In West Yorkshire.
Other surprising elements are the soothingly beautiful ‘I Traced Her Little Footmarks In The Snow’, a song that unveils the English roots of a popular Bill Monroe bluegrass classic, having started life as a British Music Hall song in 1875. There are also comical tales of curious characters and local happenings underpinned by lively tenor guitar and Bryony’s dance-infused rhythmic fiddle tunes. The album draws to a close with the cosy optimism of ‘King Christmas’, a little-known and possibly never before recorded song, composed in Keighley in the late 1800s, the enveloping harmonium chords and gentle pizzicato of the fiddle riff perfectly epitomising all you need in a quintessential Christmas song.
The accompanying sleeve notes, beautifully interspersed with images, give full lyrics and extensive source information illustrating Bryony and Alice’s commitment to the journey and history of each song and tune.
Artists’ website: www.bryonyandalice.com
October 19th – Manchester Folk Festival, Halle St. Michael’s, Manchester
November 11th – Lewes Saturday Folk Club, East Sussex
December 2nd – Hepworth LIVE!, Holmfirth
December 3rd – Warrington Singers Night, Cheshire
December 8th – The Globe, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
December 9th The Duke of Wellington, Kirkby-in-Ashfield
December 15 – St Thomas The Martyr Church, Up Holland, West Lancs
December 16th – The Grayston Unity, Halifax
December 21st – Crumpsall Folk Club, Manchester
January 17 – The Willow’s Folk Club, Wea Green, Preston
January 25 – The Topic Folk Club, Bradford
February 26-27 – Costa Blanca Folk Club, Alicante, SPAIN.
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