Song of the Day, October 5: Sorrow / Babylon by Home Service

HomeServiceBabylonToday’s song is a potent fusion of modern and traditional folk. Home Service came together as a joint project of singer, bandleader, and melodeon player John Tams  and singer /guitarist Bill Caddick. It was a large group, built around many players who had been part of the Albion Band for the Rise Up Like the Sun sessions helmed by Tams. With many busy musicians, numerous side projects, and frequent theatre work, the band recorded as unit only sporadically. Their finest album is the luminous Alright Jack.

Blending traditional themes and tunes, talented electric folk players, and stirring brass elements, it’s a fine album from start to finish. While the heart of the album is the magnificent Percy Grainger medley A Lincolnshire Posy, its call to arms is another medley. Tams wrote Sorrow, a bracing indictment of political indifference and greed. It features a fine vocal, delivering trademark Tams incisiveness. As that song fades, a traditional anthem rises. Babylon is one of Tams’ most compelling vocals, bolstered by vigorous horns and expertly martial playing. The combination is unbeatable, a highlight in Tams’ long, illustrious career and a fine moment from all the talent assembled.

Enjoy this stirring song today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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