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Alice Jones - Poor Strange Girl (Slid Records)

Star rating: 

There appears to have been quite a lot of ground covered before the arrival of this debut solo album by singer, multi-instrumentalist and dancer Alice Jones. The Ripponden-based artist has managed to substantially soak up the folk traditions of both Britain and America, having been raised in a folk music household and has subsequently managed to blend them all together in a rich melting pot of traditional song and dance tunes. In places reminiscent of Rachel and Becky Unthank's early recordings, especially on such songs as The Cruel Mother, Woody Knows Nothing and the beautiful Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still, Alice maintains her own distinctive Yorkshire vernacular throughout, which gives the songs their powerful earthiness. At times the album feels like two very different albums in one, with the delicate songs providing one half whilst the whistle-led instrumentals provide us with the other. With the ever reliable Tom Kitching on fiddle and Hugh Bradley on double bass, Alice takes command of the rest, all of which reveals a fine debut and potentially gives us a new voice to watch out for in the future.  

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky