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NEW ALBUM ‘ANGELS WITHOUT WINGS’
OUT FEBRUARY 18TH 2013 ON NAVIGATOR RECORDS
‘Angels Without Wings’ is an album of original compositions glowing with special guests from the worlds of folk, pop, rock and bluegrass. Featuring collaborations with Mark Knopfler, King Creosote, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Karine Polwart, Louis Abbott (Admiral Fallow) Julie Fowlis and more
“A voice that’s both awestruck and tender” (The New York Times)
US Indie Acoustic Award, twice BBC Folk Awards nominee
When Mark Knopfler and Jerry Douglas offered to play on Heidi Talbot’s new album, they thoughtfully recorded their parts in several different styles – some were instantly recognisable, others more low-key. Talbot’s husband, producer and band mate John McCusker joked, “you’ve got the best guitar players in the world and we’re blending them in?” But both musicians knew that for Talbot, the song always comes before the name.
Subtlety is Talbot’s magic ingredient – from her gossamer voice to the delicate re-working of traditional and contemporary material that earned her rave reviews for her 2008 breakthrough In Love And Light. The girl from Ireland’s Co. Kildare, who spent several years in New York as a member of the Irish-American supergroup Cherish The Ladies, slips effortlessly between musical worlds but retains a personal modesty rooted in traditional folk.
Talbot began writing songs on her 2010 album The Last Star. In just two years she’s become a master of the art, sometimes composing alone, sometimes with McCusker and Boo Hewerdine (who form her touring band). Kenny Anderson (King Creosote) became a new creative foil after the pair discovered a mutual admiration:
“He was asked to pick his fantasy band for The Independent and he picked me and Morten Harket from A-ha on joint lead vocals,” Heidi laughs. She conceived the melody for Button Up – a brooding, urgent acoustic love song – with Anderson in mind, and he sent back his own lyrics.
“At home we listen to Belle And Sebastian and Teenage Fan Club as much as we do The Fureys and Mary Black,” she says, of her song-writing’s broad appeal. The best modern folk music gets right to the heart of human drama while remaining oblique about time and place: ‘Wine & Roses’ is a poignant contemporary reminiscence about young lovers “holding hands and rubbing noses”; I’m Not Sorry is a mini-psychodrama written from a single moment of reflection – “I felt it so it can’t be wrong to sing about it.”
And while the timeless language of traditional folk will always be an inspiration, there are traces of Americana in ‘When The Roses Come Again’ (feat. Mark Knopfler), a delicate country-tinged duet with bluegrass legend Tim O’Brien, and Parisian romance in the unforgettable title track by Boo Hewerdine, laced with vintage accordion.
Talbot and McCusker were keen to capture the spontaneity of performance: the album was recorded live in Glasgow’s new Gorbals Sound Studios with her regular team Ian Carr (guitars), Phil Cunningham (accordion), Michael McGoldrick (flutes/whistles), James Mackintosh (percussion), Boo Hewerdine (acoustic guitar) and Ewan Vernal (bass). “If people made mistakes we’d just keep going,” says Heidi. “On some of the tracks you can even hear the harmonium creaking. These guys are friends, they all give their opinion. They’ll say, “that’s it! That’s the take!’”
Talbot’s close-knit creative environment has fostered her confidence as a songwriter while allowing her to welcome in surprising new collaborators. These ever-evolving musical relationships can be heard on this, her most sophisticated and vibrant recording to date.
Sat 26 Tolbooth, Stirling, Scotland. Box Office: 01786 274000
Sun 27 Angels Without Wings Album launch @ Celtic Connections festival – Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow with special guests. Box Office: 0141 3538000
Fri 15 The Buccleuch Centre, Langholm, Scotland. Box Office: 01387 381196
Sat 16 The Kirkgate Centre, Cockermouth, England. Box Office: 01900 826448
Sun 17 Pavilion Arts Centre, Buxton, England. Box Office: 0845 127 2190
Tue 19 ExeterPhoenix, Exeter, England. Box Office: 01392 667080
Wed 20 Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd, Wales. Box Office: 08000 147111
Thu 21 Cecil Sharp House, London, England. Box Office: 0844 8889991
Fri 22 Royal Native Oyster Stores, Whitstable, England. Box Office: 07895 683567
Sat 23 Forge at Anvil, Basingstoke, England. Box Office: 01256 844244
Sun 24 Subscription Rooms, Stroud, England. Box Office: 01453 760900
Mon 25 Artrix, Bromsgrove, England. Box Office: 01527 577330
Wed 27 Sheffield Cathedral, Sheffield, England. Box Office 0114 263 6951
Thu 28 The Barn, Baston, England. Box Office: 01778 560497
Fri 01 Mar The Met, Bury, England. Box Office: 01617 612216
Sat 02 Mar Hepworth Village Hall, Hepworth, England. Box Office: 07845 921527
Sun 03 Mar Darwin Suite, Derby, England. Box Office: 01332 255800
Mon 04 Mar Rodewald Suite, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, England. Box Office: 0151 7093789
Tue 05 Mar Pocklington Arts Centre, Pocklington, England. Box Office: 01759 301547
Thu 07 Mar Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, Scotland. Box Office: 01383 602302
Fri 08 Mar Eden Court, Inverness, Scotland. Box Office: 01463 234234
Sat 09 Mar Eastgate Arts Centre, Peebles, Scotland. Box Office: 01721 725777
Sun 10 Mar The Woodend barn, Banchory, Scotland. Box Office: 01330 825431