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snowgoose-harmony springs cd (ba da bing)

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snowgoose: harmony springs

Snowgoose, from Glasgow, formed both in name and actuality on their heels of their celebrated predecessors. Incorporating the complex musicianship of ’70s folk rock with modern melodies, the group’s members boast many hardened years of experience. This collective wisdom creates a sound unlike what any of them have done before. While their contemporaries seek out a freaky-deaky (and quickly tiring) take on folk, Snowgoose maintains its focus on skill and ability, outshining trendy approaches in a gorgeous basket of light. First strike is vocalist Anna Sheard who, ironic for a band with such a pedigree, has no past history performing. Rather, she was heard singing in her kitchen by friends and word spread. Sheard’s voice is penetrating and steely, and will stun anyone whose affinity for Jaqui McShee (Pentangle), Shirley Collins or Sandy Denny (Fairport Convention, The Strawbs) carries deep roots. Sheard was enlisted by guitarist Jim McCulloch, who then formed a group befitting her abilities. McCulloch, best known for his work with Soup Dragons and BMX Bandits, recruited bassist Dave McGowan, and soon enough, the band expanded to a true ensemble, with guitarist Raymond McGinley (of the great, great Teenage Fanclub) and drummer Stuart Kidd (previously in Stevie Jackson’s band) joining. Harmony Springs was recorded in Norfolk and Glasgow, and features additional contributions by Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake, noted violinist John McCusker, The Bluebells’ Dave McCluskey and Giant Sand’s Peter Domberknowsky. Glorious harmonies anchor the songs, while expert playing dresses them up in frills and vests. This is music with a folk heritage that doesn’t rely on traditional structure, and its beautiful reaches are glorious to hear. It has been awhile since an album as special as Harmony Springs has come about. Thankfully, the real folk music continues to exist in many fans’ minds, and sometimes that produces a result as special as Snowgoose.

Snowgoose - Harmony Springs

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