REVIEW: Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage BEFORE THE SUN


Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage
Sungrazing Records
4 stars
Magical folk harmonies
For the follow up to her beautiful debut CHARMS AGAINST SORROW, Hannah Sanders is joined by guitarist and Dobro maestro Ben Savage from folkies The Willows. Under the expert guidance of Toronto producer David Travers-Smith, they have come up with another gem of self penned and traditional numbers with a Dylan cover thrown in for good measure. Of their own compositions The Fall (Hang) has macabre overtones but sets the scene for the gorgeous harmonies that adorn the whole album. What’s It Tonight My Love? finds Hannah and Ben out on the evening streets musing over the darkness and studying the moon on the way home. Richie Stearns’ Ribbons and Bows is a dark deceptively up-beat number featuring some great dulcimer. More dulcimer on the spooky Unquiet Grave as the superstitions surrounding excessive grieving are explored with the dead lover unable to fall into eternal sleep for the wailing of his beloved. Dylan’s Boots of Spanish Leather is simply a classic. The couple are joined by a host of guest musicians, notably Canadian guitarist Kevin Breit, Katriona Gilmore on mandolin, fiddle and vocals, Evan Carson on percussion, Jon Thorne on double bass as well as Ben’s vocal partner from The Willows, Jade Rhiannon. Jim Causley and Robin Gillan also add their vocal talents to what is a really lovely album. John Roffey

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