Two Year Winter (Brick Wall Music BRICK 005CD, 2003)
Anyone who has followed the progress of Bill Jones in the last few years will be well aware of the purity of her voice, her refreshing treatments of British traditional and other songs and her disdain for the Folk Police. She is instantly recognisable as someone who is developing her own niche in the music.
The new CD finds her solo and with a talented crew of like-minded musicians around her. For example the title track sees her collaborating with Anne Hills and makes use of a fine arrangement that showcases the work of Shanti Paul Jayasinha on cello along with Stewart Hardy’s violin and Sarah Wright’s flute. In another joint effort with Hills, Lost Chances, the music is stripped down to accordion and cello with Jones’ voice clear and to the fore. The tune is a borrowing from the Irish and adds poignancy to the lyrics.
Her own version of the story of Grace Darling, the Northumbrian heroine, marries another Irish tune to her words and an arrangement that recalls some of the Swarbricking of classic Fairport days.An interesting percussive edge is supplied by Keith Angel who plays djembe and shaker.
A further development is apparent on Diddling Set a group of tunes featuring her ‘diddling’ or lilting or mouth music – whatever you wish to call it. She is as sure voiced on this as on any other material and her singing is further enhanced by some flugel horn and flute.
Finally all jigs don’t need to be flat out string busting affairs, do they ? She takes Night-time Jigs and slows down the pace, giving the lovely Irish and Northumbrian tunes space in which to be heard.
If you haven’t heard her then this is a good place to start, if you have you wont need further recommendation.
Buy Two Year Winter.