In an exciting new duo collaboration between two leading lights of their generation of traditional singers, George Sansome and Matt Quinn have come together to create Sheffield Park, an album of traditional folk songs from the British Isles, released on Grimdon Records on 28th April. The duo will be launching the album with a 12-date tour in April, and at festivals throughout the summer. Sansome (Granny’s Attic, Queer Folk), and Quinn (Dovetail Trio, Matt Quinn & Owen Woods), are both well-established as solo performers and are no strangers to English traditional song, having built their careers so far on their love for the music. Sheffield Park celebrates this love for folk songs, with a range of songs tastefully accompanied with mandolin and guitar, as well as two entirely unaccompanied vocal tracks.
With Sansome on guitar and Quinn on mandolin, the duo’s English folk instrumental styles complement each other perfectly, adding depth and a dynamic sense of movement to the songs. At times the music is sparse and minimalist, with only a few carefully-chosen mandolin notes underpinning Quinn’s distinctive vocals; at others it is warm and full, with satisfying cadences and sprightly rhythms. A number of the tracks feature the duo singing together, and their well-blended voices and close harmonies create a warm, enthralling sound. George explains:
“Matt and I first properly sang together not long before lockdown, and we knew straight away that this was a sound we wanted to explore. There’s a real thrill I feel when we sing together, and something about the way our voices blend makes it feel so comfortable and natural. Matt’s got a really great ear for harmony and it’s been really inspiring to work with him on these songs.”
It makes sense then that Sheffield Park is built around this, the sound of two assured vocalists with the stories and songs front and centre, and warm, up-front production. The album was captured live in the room by producer Tom Wright (Melrose Quartet, Martin Simpson, The Magpie Arc) at The Keystone, Sheffield. Wright seems to be at the cutting edge of the new generation of English folk music – recent production credits include albums by Lizzy Hardingham, Rosie Hood, and Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne – and this work with George Sansome & Matt Quinn is another example of his sensitive approach to production. Matt writes:
“I’ve been working with Tom for years on various different projects, so I knew he’d be a great fit for mine and George’s debut album. He has such a deep understanding of English traditional music, and is a thoroughly musical person, so he’s great to work with in the studio. He knew exactly where we were coming from when we set out to record the album, and we had all the same reference points. He’s done a fabulous job capturing the intimate feeling of the two of us making music together in the room.”
The duo will be sharing these songs with audiences on their album launch tour in April at venues across the country including Cecil Sharp House, Royal Traditions, Upton upon Severn Folk Festival, and an online gig for Live To Your Living Room.
Artists’ website: https://www.facebook.com/SansomeQuinn/
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