Song of the Day, May 13: Ampleforth / Lay Me Low by the Albion Band
May 13, 2016 Leave a comment
The Albion Band was a ever-changing group whose only constants were founder Ashley Hutchings and a mission to present the best of traditional English music. Their finest hour is their fourth album, Rise Up Like the Sun, on which Hutchings surrendered musical direction duties to John Tams so he could focus on being part of the band. The disc’s standout is a smart medley.
Ampleforth is a traditional fiddle tune that Tams and keyboard player Pete Bullock arranged over a synth line. The blend is delightful, creating a modern moment in the midst of old music. The instrumental segues into an amazing vocal arrangement.
Tams found Lay Me Low in a Shaker hymnal, intrigued by the book’s title, The Gift to Be Simple. The lyric is a repetition of the title with three short verses seeking shelter. The simplicity is elegant, and the gorgeous harmonies that Tams arranged are magical. Besides Albion regular Simon Nicol, Tams is joined by an impressive international folk chorale: Julie Covington, Pat Donaldson, Kate McGarrigle, Linda Thompson, and Richard Thompson. With fiddle and synth matching the intro and a tasty guitar solo, the whole package is amazing.
Enjoy this amazing medley today.