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Harpeth Rising

Venue: The Globe
Town: Glossop
Date: 8/10/16

Fresh from taking the Costa Del Folk festival in Portugal by storm, Harpeth Rising returned to Glossop and the "sold out" signs heralded yet another diverse night of music at the Globe.

Furnishing a fiddle, a cello and a banjo you could be forgiven for expecting something approaching light chamber music especially as all three, Jordana Greenberg, Maria Di Meglio and Michelle Younger profess to be classically schooled.

Not so. This is music that hops genres as comfortably as the most nimble of children cope with the stepping stones at the nearby Derbyshire beauty spot of Dovedale.

Plucked strings, both Jordana's violin and Maria's cello, a dramatic start, classical influences underpinned by luscious harmonies as "Early Riser" tells the story of a friend.

Dark humour in the vein of the Handsome Family, the surreal stop start pacing of "Good Ideas" is infectious and welcoming. As is the banter in between songs in which we learn about their history, the origins of their name (a river in Nashville) and other random thoughts.

Turning to pop, an instrumental "Norwegian Wood" is stripped bare and sonically taken back to imagined Scandinavian roots, a deep resonate cello, a furious fiddle, the tune is blasted out at 100mph to great effect.

Then it's back to songs from the new album, well crafted, insightful lyrics, the title track "Shifted" accapella driven, a moving relationship that recognises change "Something has shifted, I can't feel the ground. Can't tell if I'm floating, or headed straight down. But something has moved me off of my tracks. Can't tell how I got here and I'm not going back".

A theatrical monster of a song, both visual and musical, "Providence" closes the first half in style.

"Rollin' To You" starts the second, it's a veritable soundscape of percussive fiddle and harmonies that build, a road song of love and the desire to be back home.

A gorgeous cover of Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me To The End Of Love" changes the pace with Jordana's clear alto voice expressive.

"Istanbul Not Constantinople" swoons classically rather than swings, Michelle's banjo adds an almost progressive solo as all three ladies take turns and let loose. It's a great talent to be brilliant players but even more so to be entertaining at the same time, Harpeth Rising manage that with consummate ease.

Add in an incredible energy, enhance with foot percussion, the sound is full, refreshing folk music that pushes boundaries.

All too soon the evening ends, "I Am Eve" coupled with "Four Days More" ends with a deserved standing ovation and smiles on the packed audience's face.

Then the encore. "Stairway To Heaven" as you've never heard it before. "Stairway To Heaven" as you'll want to hear it again. And again.

And earlier in the evening support was provided by the excellent Hartlepool singer / songwriter Lee Maddison who regaled the audience with songs from his first album "Maddison's Thread".

From songs such as "One Day" that offer hope and enlightenment to the crushing circle of depression to "Where Eagles Fly" which has been adapted for a B.B.C. Documentary.

Lee is another artist who jumps genres with ease "Night Circus" has a wonderful jazzy feel as a night on the town seeing the sights (and avoiding being one of them) is played out, whilst "Tumbleweed" a tale of small town apathy where things never change won loud applause. The latter a taster for his soon to be released, new album, "Sixty Minutes An Hour".

All in all it was another exciting eclectic night at a venue run by Jamie Knowles that majors on immaculate music, excellent (cheap) real ale and fantastic (vegan) food.

Ian Cripps, pic Harvey Gibbs

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