Home International Hannah Read & Michael Starkey – Apple Blossom

Hannah Read & Michael Starkey – Apple Blossom

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In 2018, Hannah Read delivered her highly acclaimed solo album Way Out I’ll Wander. It was a Featured Album of the Month on Folk Radio UK, and in his review, Thomas Blake noted how the power of Read’s songs often laid in the lyrical minutiae…”Before you realise it, you are caught in the small, perfectly formed world of the song’s narrative.”

After touring that album to sell-out audiences in 2017/18, working with the likes of Kris Drever & Darlingside, Hannah has now joined forces with Edinburgh based musician Michael Starkey to record and release their new album Cross The Rolling Water, out on Hudson Records in June (CD/Digital) & August (LP) 2022 (more details below).

We have the pleasure of sharing the lead track on which the focus is all on their musicianship and the interplay of fiddle and banjo. In music, there is nothing more delightful to watch than when two musicians take their music to such an intuitive level and watching Hannah and Michael perform ‘Apple Blossom’ below is totally magical. Like Hannah’s songwriting, it’s in the small flourishes and playful interplay that these two bring such rich dynamic energy to their music.

Of the tune, they tell us: ‘We picked this tune up floating around at the Clifftop Appalachian Stringband Festival in West Virginia one year. It comes from the playing of John Lusk, who was a fiddler known for his work with the Tennessee stringband trio ‘Gribble, Lusk and York’.’ It’s also our Tune of the Day.

The video is by the award-winning photographer and filmmaker Paul Jennings.

Fiddler and singer-songwriter Hannah Read first met banjo player Michael Starkey at an Appalachian old time session in Edinburgh in late 2019. The moment they first struck up a tune together, there was an immediate meeting of musical minds.

Cross The Rolling Water was recorded in December 2020 between the lock-downs with Hudson Record’s own Andy Bell; Hannah and Andy first met whilst working together on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Album of the year by Songs of Separation.

Hannah is an award-winning Scottish musician based in Brooklyn, NY. She moved stateside to study American fiddle styles and to immerse herself in the thriving string music scene. She has toured extensively, performing solo and collaborating with musicians far and wide, including Tony Trischka, Sarah Jarosz and Jefferson Hamer, as well as being one part of the BBC Folk Award-winning Songs of Separation.

Michael is a multi-instrumentalist, music teacher and old time banjo enthusiast living in Scotland. His mission as a musician is to keep things simple – clear melody lines underpinned by solid, infectious rhythm. Recent collaborations include Wayward Jane (Edinburgh-based UK/US folk and roots music 4-piece) and ‘Faultlines’, a collection of Lisa Fannen’s poetry set to music.

Cross The Rolling Water is available on CD, and Digital on 3rd June 2022, with the LP released 12th August; this will be the first Hudson Records LP pressed here in the UK at a new plant in Middlesbrough.

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