I’ve always being a big fan of cover versions and when this album from a two artists well known to me for their other musical endeavours popped up on my Bandcamp feed I was clicking the buy button without hesitation, luckily for me the pre-order has turned up a few weeks earlier than expected and I’ve being able to revel in the ten interpretations over this last weekend, personally the mark of a great cover version is the way in which it opens up a familiar song giving the listener a different perspective and fresh appreciation – Walk Away, Walk Away manages to do achieve this over and over again.
There’s a lovely backstory to this collaboration that puts the album and the song choices into perspective;
“Our friendship is older than our adulthood; we were teenagers when we met.We’ve played on each-other’s records; hung out on tour; argued, advised and commiserated about books and politics – but never made music as a two.
We started searching out trad songs for an imagined folk duo, for an imagined gap in our schedules. We went so far as to dig around at Cecil Sharp House and pay daft money for an 1860s ballad collection in a Buxton antique shop. Quietly the idea pickled.
Then in Autumn 2013 for two months we travelled together on a tour bus, up and down the backbone of Britain, playing cards, running into service stations for chocolate at 4am while everyone slept. There we found something tangible to hang it on – a thread running through that meant we could grab songs from anywhere; not just an arbitrary folk repertoire.
The following Spring, one night we sat in Digger Barnes’ beautiful Hamburg apartment drinking his Venezuelan rum and it all fitted – we just had to get it on tape.
So we present WALK AWAY, WALK AWAY. Other people’s songs, old and new. Loyalty and loss. People coming apart. Wild spaces. Loneliness versus solitude.A long drive alone through a thunderstorm. And today’s nomadic life – hi tech, yet old fashioned.”
Alongside the the reimagined versions of songs from artists ranging from the Kaiser Chiefs to Joni Mitchell there is an original track from Gill Sandell too, for a detailed run down of the tracks there’s an excellent review by Helen Gregory over at Folk Radio, as well as vocals Gill contributes accordion, acoustic guitar, drums, flute, organ and piano parts with Chris playing guitar and piano, my personal highlights from the album are Cactus Tree (Joni Mitchell) and I Walk The Earth (Brad Nack), commended and highly recommended.
Gill Sandell / Chris TT