United Bible Studies’ The Ale’s What Cures Ye is a compilation of re-interpreted traditional and modern folk songs from their (mostly) home of Ireland/UK. As I write this, the weather’s rather befitting of what the United Kingdom experiences often. There’s so much rain hitting against the windows and roof at the moment you’d think there’s a hurricane heading your way. The Ale’s What Cures Ye makes you feel like you hopped in a time machine  that brought you straight to the 1800s or the early 1900s. The opening track, “Blacksands,” is ghost-like. The piano gingerly glides along with mild dampening and delay making it sweeter than it already is. I could liken it to a mosquito to a lamp – it’s the perfect bait to draw any discerning ears in to its anachronistic trap. If you don’t happy to be familiar with United Bible Studies know that they’ve got a lot more where this came from – just have a look at their Bandcamp. Click the EU buy link to hear a preview and see what you think of it. Cheers!


The Details

MIE release the new LP 'The Ale's What Cures Ye' by United Bible Studies in a limited edition. A compendium of traditional and modern folk songs as interpreted by the band and inspired by Folkways. The record comes with a booklet of words by the band members. Here are three extracts:

Black Sands - Titled after the Black Sands of 'Sweet Streams of Nancy' and pieced together from the relative geographies of melodies found elsewhere on the album, 'Blacksands' represents, to my mind, the band as a whole - waxing and waning between various members offerings and sewn together with a shared understanding of something more unified and ancient. Recorded in various parts of the English countryside and the Irish midlands.

The Dalesman's Litany/The Burning Sea - Dave brought the Litany to the table, and I was only faintly familiar with it from the Hart/Prior version. F.W. Moorman's paean to itinerant labouring hardships, the piece always conjured images of the families left behind in the search for pit work - A concept which lead to the creation of a kind of coda, The Burning Sea - with Alison Cotton's vocals from Ten Thousand Miles echoed here in an altogether different form...that of a distressed wife abandoned overseas, set against a scree of gradually deconstructed/decaying viola lines.

The Recruited Collier - Many's the tip Johnny Moynihan offered me regarding the songs I was singing whilst touring with him one Summer. Singing 'The Recruited Collier' exactly as Anne Briggs had done was one of them. However, on this recording, Nature intervened. The tide was fast approaching & in our haste, I sang 'take my heart' rather than 'break my heart'. Not only that, but I sang it twice, perhaps recalling Pavement's advice to repeat any mistakes you made so as to make them seem deliberate. With no room for second takes, we made good our escape from the smugglers cave & I swore to never haul a harmonium up & down a cliff face ever again.

United Bible Studies in The Ale's What Cures Ye are:

David Colohan (Raising Holy Sparks)
Michael Tanner (Plinth)
Aine O'Dwyer
Nicholas Palmer
Alison Cotton
Richard Moult
Louise McGrath
Sharron Kraus

Price $18.4

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