The Elizabethan Session
“I hear tell of London, Buildings seven houses high, The perfume of the ladies, All the ways a man can die. And the Woman King, she’s 10 feet tall, She dresses all in white, They say she shines all over England, Though I’ve never seen the light” (London by John Smith)
The Elizabethan Session is a new 14 track album which showcases the results of the multi-artist commission from Folk by the Oak and the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) that was inspired by the Elizabethan era and which took place in March 2014.
Featuring the cream of the contemporary folk world, including Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr, Jim Moray, Bella Hardy, John Smith, Emily Askew, Hannah James and Rachel Newton in a week-long residency, songs were premiered at live show at Hatfield House, childhood home of Queen Elizabeth, and Cecil Sharp. The group also appeared at the Folk by the Oak festival that takes place in the field featuring the very oak tree where legend claims the young Princess Elizabeth learnt of her ascent to the throne.
Produced by Andy Bell (The Full English), the album was recorded at the Old Palace at Hatfield House in the very hall where Queen Elizabeth held her first Council of State and at Cecil Sharp House, home of EFDSS.
From John Smith’s darkly brooding track London reflecting life as a peasant in Elizabethan England to Nancy Kerr’s Shores of Hispaniola examining the slave trade that of the the era; The Elizabethan Session is a classic blend of traditional and contemporary tracks.
Featured on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune and the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show, and reviewed in The Guardian, Times, R2, fRoots, Living Tradition and Songlines, it promises to be one of the albums of 2014.
Label: Quercus Records
Catalogue Number: QRCD001
Release Date: 8 September 2014