CLAIRE HASTINGS – Those Who Roam (Luckenbooth Records LUCKEN002CD)

Those Who RoamFollowing a somewhat unexpected and adventurous debut album, Claire Hastings became a Top Floor Taiver – still adventurous – and now reappears with her second solo album. Those Who Roam leans more heavily on the tradition which made her reputation as a Young Traditional Musician Of The Year but is by no means a retrograde step. In fact, it’s my second contender for album of the year from the three I’ve heard so far. Claire has slimmed down her band to four players and has engaged go-to producer Inge Thomson who is, no doubt, responsible for the sometimes ethereal feel of the album. Abandoning the ukulele was probably a good move, too.

As you probably guessed, not least from Claire’s sprauncy attire, the theme of the album is travellers; those who journey willingly and those forced to travel; those who journey heroically and those for whom it is just a way of life. The opening track, ‘The Lothian Hairst’, concerns the latter, gangs who worked the harvests in the 19th century, beginning in the Lothians and moving northwards as they followed the ripening grain. Told from the point of view of a female worker it sounds like a great life and benefits from a modern arrangement featuring Jenn Butterworth’s guitar and Tom Gibbs’ piano plus the sound of scythes: another of Thomson’s touches.

‘Jack The Sailor’, a variation on the female midshipman theme, is completely different, racing along on Laura Wilkie’s fiddle and driven by Andrew Waite’s accordion while ‘Seven Gypsies’ and  ‘Sailin’s A Weary Life’, with its doom-laden arrangement,  both concern loss but for very different reasons. Next comes ‘Fair Weather Beggar’, the first of Claire’s own songs, about an Edinburgh busker who doesn’t like the rain, followed by a rather pretty written song from the 18th century. ‘Logie O’ Buchan’ is the age-old story of the lecherous landlord and the poor couple forcibly separated.

Claire’s second original song, ‘Noble Helen Of Cluden’, is based on a possibly true story borrowed by Sir Walter Scott for The Heart Of Midlothian and is a sort of twist on ‘Geordie’. ‘Jamie Raeburn’ is a fairly familiar transportation ballad and in complete contrast it’s followed by Dave Alvin’s ‘King Of California’ which tells another age-old story set this time in gold-rush America. Finally we have ‘Ten Thousand Miles which closes with the same sound that begins ‘The Lothian Hairst’; soft strings that are probably Wilkie’s fiddle treated by Thomson.

Those Who Roam really is an excellent album and, much as I enjoyed Between River And Railway, it’s a big step forward.

Dai Jeffries

Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 


Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD
Physical link for the UK Store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/


Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD
Physical link to the US Storehttps://folking.com/folking-us-storefront/


Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist’s website: www.clairehastings.com

‘King Of California’ – live at Costa del Folk:

Claire Hastings announces debut album

Claire Hastings

Since winning the BBC Young Traditional Musician of theYear title in 2015, folk singer Claire Hastings’ debut album Between River And Railway has been hotly anticipated. The album features exciting arrangements of traditional folk songs alongside Claire’s self-penned material, including the stunning ‘The House at Rosehill’. This song features the album title in the lyrics, and is a reference to Claire’s childhood home near Dumfries. Songs are brought to life with band members Jenn Butterworth (guitar & vocals), Laura Wilkie (fiddle) and Andrew Waite (accordion) as well as guests Martin O’Neill (percussion) and Duncan Lyall (bass).

Recorded at Carrier Waves Studio (Glasgow) and produced by Ali Hutton (Treacherous Orchestra, Old Blind Dogs) one of Scotland’s foremost multi-instrumentalists, the album showcases Claire’s beautifully clear voice in the Scots and English languages.

The album includes Claire’s alternative melody to Robert Burns’ ‘The Posie’, which has been controversially deemed superior to the original. A lively rendition of ‘Let Ramensky Go’ also features, which Claire has performed twice with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at Proms in the Park and at BBC Music Day, where she also sang alongside Lulu, Jamie Cullum and Deacon Blue. ‘The Gretna Girls’ was written after a visit to the Devil’s Porridge Museum near Gretna, once the site of what during the First World War was the UK’s largest munitions factory.

Claire will be touring the album with her band in May and June this year following a solo tour of New Zealand in April.

Artist’s website: http://www.clairehastings.com/

‘The Posie’:

TYDE set to release The Hidden Spoon on Mrs Casey Records 1 April 2013

TydeAcclaimed folk trio Tyde release their much anticipated second album, The Hidden Spoon, on pre-release now via Mrs Casey Music and the bands’ website, and available through all major outlets on 1 April 2013.

Demonstrating a newfound maturity, the collection combines traditional energetic jigs and reels, such as album opener Pietros, with carefully arranged songs.

Instrumental Skytehound Pt I & II seamlessly blends Irish concertina player Niall Vallely’s Mullacreevie with a self-penned tune, while the contemplative Evening Solace sets a verse by Charlotte Bronte to original music, and Katrina recounts the true story of how New Orleans rebuilt itself after 2005’s devastating hurricane. Though they remain rooted in the Scottish and Irish folk traditions, the surprising Haslemere even features a subtle Americana influence.

With all three members now contributing vocals, and with the addition of percussionist Jim Molyneux (4Square, The Old Dance School) and bassist, Pete Thomas (Megan Henwood) on several tracks, the energetic and considered Hidden Spoon clearly finds Tyde upping their game.

“It definitely shows a more mature sound,” says Heather. “We do raucous tunes …  and also complicated and interesting to listen to tracks, but ultimately the progression is in the songs.”

“We’ve all got better as musicians,” reckons Andrew. “We were quite young when we did the first one. For me it’s taken a few years to be more comfortable in the studio, to get more confident. We didn’t know much during the recording of the first album. With this one we were more involved with everything.”

“With the addition of bass and drums, it’s more energetic,” confirms Seth. “The last record felt a bit safe – there’s more of an edge to this one.”

Based in the North East of England and Scottish Borders and formed from members of Kathryn Tickell’s famed Folkestra project – a regional youth ensemble based at The Sage Gateshead – Andrew Waite (accordion), Heather Gessey (fiddle, vocals) and Seth Tinsley (guitar, double bass, vocals) first caused a stir as finalists at the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards. Their self-titled debut album arrived in early 2010 to widespread acclaim, supported by a period of heavy gigging and major festivals.

Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 


Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD

Physical link for the UK Store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/


Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD

Physical link to the US Storehttps://folking.com/folking-us-storefront/


Buying through Amazon helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.