Strange News Has Come To Town

Naomi Bedford and Paul Simmonds

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Format: CD

Cat No: DWR006

PRE-ORDER: This item will be shipped with the aim to deliver on release day.

Format Details:

Release Date:  28 June 2024

Label:  Dusty Willow Records

Packaging Type:  Digipak

No of Units:  1

Barcode:  5063176034724

Genres:  Folk  Americana  

  • Description

    Strange News Has Come To Town Press Release

    Naomi Bedford and Paul Simmonds

    Released June 28th via Dusty Willow Recordings/Proper Distribution

    'Strange News Has Come To Town' is the fourth collaboration for folk roots country hybrid duo Naomi Bedford and Paul Simmonds. It follows the dramatic introduction to Bedford's unique high lonesome vocal style in the murder ballad heavy album 'Tales of the Weeping Willow'; the celebration of protest and exposition of madness in 'A History of Insolence' and 'Songs My Ruiner Gave Me' respectively, and finally the Appalachian celebration of 2019's 'Singing It All Back Home'.

    Four years on there is 'Strange News....' Commenced the week before lockdown and beset by pandemic, financial collapse and health issues, this time personal issues are to the fore. Nowhere more so than the opening track 'Optimist' where all the above travails are breezily confronted in a homage to one of the duo's most essential qualities - positive resilience.

    Overseen once again by producer/multi-instrumentalist Ben Walker, 'Strange News...' overflows with great ensemble playing from the fluid cast of musicians that Bedford and Simmonds have gathered to support their projects. Vocally, there's the aching high harmonies of Rich Leo, the bluesy grit of Donna Edmead and the cool Americana cream of Xan Tyler, yet still Bedford's voice rises above all to infuse each vocal with her trademark wounded yearning; never more effectively than on the raw tradition of 'A Blacksmith Courted Me', the strange, ambient swamp of 'Haunted River' and the euphoric homage to anxiety, 'Happiness Is A Way Of Travelling'.

    Elsewhere, erstwhile partner Paul Simmonds joins the fray with two rambling and surreal narratives, "I've Got A Fever' and 'Opposite Day'; the former a lockdown horror movie resolved into a meditation on reincarnation and liberty, the latter an inverted Quest ballad set during a dystopian odyssey through post truth Britain in search of 'what a man desires' via nursery rhymes, wah wah guitar and a brutal lydian scale.

    Other standouts are the blissed-out Americana of Justin Currie co-write 'I Love You Too'; all pedal steel and Everly Brothers harmonies and the dark folk allegory 'Asylum', a phantasmagorical tale of the fatal adventures of three would migrants.

    The album ends with the rural ballad 'The Lapwing's Call', set appropriately in the first reviving Spring at the end of lockdown. Strange News Has Come To Town, long overdue, long awaited and worth every minute.


    Naomi Bedford and Paul Simmonds Bio

    Strange News Has Come to Town

    Naomi Bedford is an English singer working in the folk and country genres. She has made four acclaimed albums; most recently 'Singing It All Back Home', a collection of Appalachian ballads which was a Guardian Album of the Month in 2019. Her previous albums have featured contributions from UK music legends such as Justin Currie, Andy Summers, Alasdair Roberts and Paul Heaton. She also regularly performs and records with Paul Simmonds, chief songwriter and mandolin player with The Men They Couldn't Hang.

    Naomi has toured widely throughout the UK and appeared at many prestigious Festivals including Glastonbury, Cambridge, Celtic Connections, Sidmouth and Wickham. She has also appeared in session for Mark Radcliffe on Radio 2 and on BBC Radio Scotland. Among her many supporters are; Iggy Pop, 'Amazing. Naomi pulls no punches', Shirley Collins, 'The best singer of Appalachian ballads that I know' and Del Amitri's Justin Currie, 'An English Emmylou'.

    The Ramshackle Band are a revolving troupe of musicians that feature guitars, banjos, lap steel, harmonica, bass, percussion and rich harmonies, all of which combine to produce an entrancing folk/country/ceilidh hybrid that is all their own.

    Naomi's latest album, 'Strange News Has Come To Town', will be released in May 2024 and features regular collaborator Paul Simmonds alongside a full Ramshackle Band for the first time. They will be appearing across the UK throughout Summer and Autumn of 2024.

  • Tracklisting

      Disc 1

      Side 1

      • 1. Optimist
      • 2. Happiness Is A Way Of Travelling
      • 3. Haunted River
      • 4. I Love You Too
      • 5. Lewiston Factory Girls
      • 6. Asylum
      • 7. I've Got A Fever
      • 8. Dark Rolling Road
      • 9. A Blacksmith Courted Me
      • 10. Opposite Day
      • 11. The Lapwing's Call