“I think one of the most interesting, powerful and talented singers - and songwriters - to come out of the last couple of years has been Ange Hardy. She’s rapidly gained an enormous following all over the country.” - Mike Harding
Ange Hardy is a 30 year old female folk singer, songwriter and recording artist from West Somerset, England. She lives with her husband Rob, daughter Amy and son Luke just outside Watchet.
Mike Harding recently called Ange “one of the bright stars of the new wave of folk singers” and over the past 12 months Ange Hardy has been firmly establishing herself as a remarkable folk artist having received FATEA Magazine’s ‘Female Vocalist of the Year’ award following the very well received release of her debut folk album ‘Bare Foot Folk’ in May 2013.
This new album builds on those strong foundations of deeply rooted folk music. Where ‘Bare Foot Folk’ was about stripping everything back to it’s roots ‘The Lament of The Black Sheep’ is about exploring the surrounding soil.
‘The Lament of The Black Sheep’ is a collection of original songs inspired by family, tradition, personal experience, and the tales of West Somerset. These are songs of heritage and stories of working the land.
"Five Stars" - Martin Chilton, The Telegraph
“Another album that’s made an impact this year It’s a really neat trick to write songs that sound almost traditional!” - Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2
"An album that marks the arrival of a new star in the folk firmament." - Americana UK
"A fine album immersed in the tradition" - Ian Croft, R2 magazine
"By far my favourite album of 2014" - Gary Hazlehurst, The Folk Show, StaffordFM
"Ange Hardy's one of the bright stars of the new wave of folk singers." - Mike Harding
"Ange’s guitar technique and especially her voice are also major factors in the spectacular success of The Lament Of The Black Sheep." - Simon Holland, Folk Radio UK
Despite not being overtly autobiographical this is a deeply personal album. The album cover is a photograph of her great-grandfather, taken on the same West Somerset farm as the photos of her on the CD and inlay. A number of songs contain references to Ange’s family life and formative years.
The title track is a retelling of the classic nursery rhyme about the unfortunate black sheep who gives away the only thing he owns and is left cold and alone. “At the age of two my son Luke would sit in the back of the car singing “Baa baa black sheep... wool? No.” There was a bleakness in the innocent way he simplified the song that inspired me to look at it from the perspective of the sheep”.
The album is a journey. The songs are diverse in style and subject, they stand strong along, but even stronger as part of a collective whole.
We’re rather excited about the direction Ange Hardy’s music has taken this year!
The multi-award winning and ludicrously talented James Findlay has provided exceptional fiddle playing and the warm tones of his distinctive and traditional style of singing. He sings lead parts on several tracks. The truly delightful Lukas Drinkwater added double bass and provided further backing vocals on the album. Alex Cumming has added the traditional delights of his accordion, and bright eyed Jon Dyer added his flute and whistle expertise. To top it all off Royal College of Music trained Jo May brought percussion (and spoons!) to a number of tracks.