Album review: MADDY PRIOR with HANNAH JAMES & GILES LEWIN – Shortwinger

MADDY PRIOR with HANNAH JAMES & GILES LEWIN - Shortwinger

Park Records [Release date 25.05.18]

It is fifty years since Maddy Prior released her first album with Tim Hart and since then she has been fronting Steeleye Span, with plenty of other musical diversions including the Silly Sisters with June Tabor and her own Carnival Band (who feature Giles Lewin amongst their line-up).

Her two musical compatriots are have had busy careers to date, with violinist Giles Lewin was a founder member of Bellowhead and accordionist Hannah James has been a member of the award winning Kerfuffle.

This is the second album from this talented trio, with ’3 For Joy’ being released back in 2012. That album was inspire by fourteenth century poets and on ‘Shortwinger’ we have an album of songs inspired by the natural world, with a heavy emphasis on bird life.

Nature has supplied many an inspiration to folk music, the Albion Band’s ‘The Wild Side Of Town’ with Chris Baines is recommended, and even prog rock loves the countryside as artists such as Big Big Train use nature and the countryside as musical inspirations.

Speaking of prog ‘The Fabled Fare’ clocks in at nearly fourteen minutes, starting with a haunting vocal from the trio, before the beat picks up and the time flies by in this tale from a hare’s viewpoint. It is an older song originally written by Maddy Prior with Martin Kisco for BBC Wildlife On One.

The wonderful acapella at the start of ‘Jenny Wren’ shows the three vocalists talents off and they work again in blissful harmony on ‘Murmuration’ – the aerobatic displays seen at dusk by starlings which are dwindling in numbers here in the UK.

‘The Lark In The Clear Air’ is given another airing and Hannah’s higher vocals complement the baritone of Giles and the lower pitch of Maddy. The jaunty instrumental ‘The Curlew’ closes the album, featuring the sounds of curlews. An uplifting piece to end this fine album on.

Another essential piece of folk music from Maddy Prior and Hannah James & Giles Lewin. Maddy Prior just keeps on getting better with age and long may that continue.  ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 February, 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 14 February 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 9 February 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 22 February 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 RADAR Lost In The Atlantic (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 DURBIN The Beast Awakens (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN – The Darkest Days Are The Brightest (InsideOut Music)

Power Plays w/c 22 February 2021 (Mon-Fri)

ALESTI Voices
DEAD REYNOLDS Bright Lights

ALLY VENABLE Road To Nowhere
JASON SWEENEY She’s A Fighter
RAINBREAKERS Ashes



Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), All Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply