Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage released Ink Of The Rosy Morning on Topic Records earlier this month which they recorded while holed up in an old seaside schoolhouse in Hastings. We’ve premiered a couple of videos for songs from that album, including ‘A Winter’s Night‘ and ‘False True Love‘, and today, we have the pleasure of sharing another.
Polly O Polly is a song that Hannah learned from David Holt, who, in turn, learned the song from Dellie Norton of Sodom, North Carolina. Dellie was known for singing the old English and Scottish ballads that were carried to the Southern Appalachians with the region’s first settlers. She continued singing into her late years; she passed away in 1993, aged 94. David described her as being like a grandmother to him…”Full of old time wisdom and a deep knowledge of mountain life she was truly a great person.” David plays a mean banjo, and Hannah and Ben manage to capture that similar energy in their guitar playing on this song while giving it a fresh contemporary edge. They balance the old and new beautifully throughout their album, honouring the roots of the songs but carrying them on in their own unique way.
In an accompanying short video below, Hannah talks about how she first saw David Holt perform at Festival at the Edge when he was invited into the bus her parents were travelling in. He performed this song for them, which Hannah describes as economical and brutal.
The video was made by Rob Bridge @ Redwood Photography whose previous Folk Radio features you can find here.
Hannah Sanders on Polly O Polly
Hannah and Ben are appearing at several festivals across the summer, including Sidmouth Folk Festival and Shrewsbury Folk Festival. Full details can be found here:
Ink Of The Rosy Morning is out now on Topic Records: