This week’s recommended album: Fay Hield and the Hurricane Party – Old Adam

To capture so perfectly all the details and nuances of a bunch of acoustic instruments is a feat for which we have to take our collective hats off to Andy Bell, producer of the first Fay Hield album since the terrific Full English project.

But a great sound alone makes not a great album.  Next up the musicians:  Some of the top heavyweights of the current folk scene – Sam Sweeny, John Boden, Martin Simpson, and I’m going to have to add to these category Ben Nicholls, who I saw with Kings of the South Seas, singing and playing concertina, last year, not realising he was the bassist in, amongst others, the Full English.  His double bass playing on Old Adam is stunning, particularly on the opening track. Rob Harbron, Roger Wilson and Toby Kearney all play fabulously too.

Add to this the ever able singing of Fay Hield herself, and an excellent selection of songs – varied in style, mood and content.  All in all a terrific album, and so far album of the year…although it is only February.