Our friend in Edinburgh, David Ferguson, writes about the wonderful new album from Hannah Read…
Hannah Read is an Edinburgh-born singer, songwriter and fiddler (with links also to the remote Scottish Isle of Eigg), who is now resident in Brooklyn, New York. Hannah is much in demand as a collaborator on both sides of the Atlantic and was part of the highly successful Songs Of Separation project, which won Album Of The Year at last year’s BBC Radio Folk Awards.
For her first full-length album, Way Out I’ll Wander, Hannah Read has delivered a beautifully-crafted set of songs which deal elegantly, eloquently and honestly with universal themes of home, love and loss. Hannah’s pure and clear vocals (transatlantic, with pleasing traces of her Scots accent) are to the fore, while subtle washes of strings, woodwind and yearning lap steel guitar add richness to the intimate song arrangements.
Highlights from this very fine album include Moorland Bare (an evocative Robert Louis Stevenson poem set to Hannah’s hauntingly beautiful melody); the simply stunning Alexander (a poignant and reverential tribute to an elderly war veteran); Way Out I’ll Wander (an achingly beautiful reflection on the loss of Hannah’s much loved grandfather “…on the last day of the year…”); and the invigorating Boots (which oozes delight in the simple pleasures of newfound love).
Filled with songs of true depth and beauty, Way Out I’ll Wander is likely to bring Hannah Read even greater recognition on both sides of the Atlantic, on a par with her good friend Sarah Jarosz (who provides backing vocals on the album).