Rebecca Hall
"Sunday Afternoon"
by Johanna J. Bodde


"Sunday Afternoon"
(Listen Here! Records)
Also available via Glitterhouse mailorder.

Rebecca Hall, who left Boston in 1990 to try her luck in Greenwich Village, felt inspired after listening to Harry Smith's "Anthology Of American Folk Music", to write songs herself. Her first album was originally a home-made demo, that she sold at gigs. She won't have dreamt back then, that she soon would count people like Roger McGuinn and Laura Cantrell among her fans! To attract the attention of a spoiled connoisseur like McGuinn with his Folk Den, an artist must have something substantial to offer and Rebecca has that something...
First off a crystal clear voice with a timbre reminiscent of Joan Baez at the time of the Bob Dylan-covers, a reference to English folk (Sandy Denny's atmosphere) is also in its place. Rebecca's songs are timeless, they could have been composed in this new century or at the beginning of the last century: two traditionals ("Rosemary Lane" with little bells and "The False Bride") mingle unperceived. The mostly melancholy themes are loneliness and lost love, as a result main characters take off into the wide world. "Going North" -with sounds of the ocean- intrigues me, it makes me think of Sonya Hunter's song with the same title, mixed with a touch of "You Can Sleep While I Drive".

The fine arrangements impress and won't go unnoticed! Every track is dressed up differently, the mandola stands out already in the opener, the cello brings warmth, the bass lays down the nice little accents and is played by Rebecca's husband Ken Anderson, we also hear oboe, violin, piano, percussion and of course guitars! So, are those lovers of folkmusic sitting observantly straight up in the meantime?
(Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson are playing now as a "retro-folk duo", their CD "Hungry Town" will be released Summer 2007.)

Written by Johanna J. Bodde, Dutch original of this review previously published on Real Roots Cafe, The Netherlands.