Not-so-Hidden People – great nu folk

Folk crusties can be easily seduced by a superb mix of traditional, bluegrass and US standards.
At least this one can be when Kathryn Roberts, Sean Lakeman and Patsy Reid are at the top of their game.
They were in cracking form when they took their tour to the Newhampton Arts Centre on Saturday night.
The mix was absolutely right as Kathryn’s vocals, keyboard and flute work were backed up bigtime by Sean on guitar and Patsy on violin and cello.
Material from the latest album – Hidden People – Huldra, Money or Jewels, The Ballad of Andy Jacobs (one of few perceptive pieces from the miners strike), Lusty Smith and Jackie’s Song was excellent.
Tom Waits’ Ballad of Georgia Lee gave more US flavour on top of the bluegrass- nicely contrasted with The Whitby Maid from Yorkshire.
Nice to hear Joe Peel by Rohdale’s Pete Bond about a very different football and industrial world to the one of today.
Decades ago he struck me as a thoroughly decent, detailed and rigorous musician and singer – and collector and collater of songs.
Kathryn’s rendition was sensitive and gripping. Sean’s guitar and Patsy’s strings were lovely – as were Patsy’s vocals.
The excellent set was primed with John Richards (without his band) starting the evening with guitar and heartfelt songs delivered with a laconic Black Country twang.
Looking forward to his – and his band’s – new album coming out soon.
Altogether an excellent evening.

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