We first met Ted when he came to one of our Singarounds, did a stunning and unusual version of (if memory serves) Bold General Wolfe, and then left before we could get his contact details …..
Well we were worried we had driven him away, but luckily he returned and we are very glad he did!
And if you want to see an example of how an often rather overdone and hackneyed song can be given a completely fresh lease of life, just listen to The Wild Rover below (second clip down!)
Now here’s the official blurb:
Laura Smyth and Ted Kemp perform traditional songs from England and beyond, with special attention given to their respective homes in the North West and East Anglia. While placing great value on unaccompanied solo and harmony singing, they also accompany themselves on English concertina, 5-string banjo, cello, and guitar.
Laura and Ted interpret and deliver their music with a reverence for traditional performers and source material, taking influence from the classic folk revival performers of the 60s and 70s, whilst achieving a style that is very much their own.
Their debut EP, The Charcoal Black and the Bonny Grey, produced by Rob Harbron (Fay Hield and the Hurricane Party, The Full English) is their interpretation of 5 songs collected from or set in Lancashire, featuring guest fiddler Laurel Swift.
“Their new EP is one of the most exciting things I’ve heard in a long time. There’s no artifice, no straining for clever effects at all. It’s just damn good songs sung beautifully.” – Mike Harding, The Mike Harding Folk Show
“Good straight ahead, proper job folk duo like what they made in the 1970s – sound and look like an escapee from Trailer. No silly folkist mannerisms, and not twee… worth investigating.” – Ian Anderson
“The Charcoal Black and The Bonny Grey EP is a small but perfectly formed gem which shines like a beacon in the dark winter night and will be treasured by anyone for whom the legacy of traditional English folk music is as important today as it ever was. Laura Smyth and Ted Kemp are part of that rare but thriving band of musicians who are influenced by traditional material while developing their own distinct style and I, for one, hope we’ll be hearing much more from them in the future.” – Helen Gregory, folkradio.co.uk