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Long Winter Coat - Suntrap

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Artist: Suntrap / Genre: Country & Folk

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      21.01.2002 18:27
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      London based "Suntrap" are one of the most exciting bands I have heard in a long time. I first heard "Long winter Coat" two years ago, when they sent a promotional copy to the folk festival I was working with. It took me about two seconds to be overcome with amazement, and I have been a loyal fan ever since. Suntrap write their own material, and also cover traditional folk music. Their interpretations of older songs are innovative, surprising and impressive. About the band: Paul Hoad: Plays guitar and harmonica, sings (very, very well) and writes his own material. He's an an energetic, charismatic performer, and quite funny as well. Sara Byers - plays accoridan, bodhran (round irish drum) guitar and whistle (not at the same time) and also sings. She has a warm, rich voice and a very relaxed style. She also writes. Mary Wilson - fiddle player and singer - very sweet voice, and the most quiet of the three. Suntrap combine their instruments and voices to produce a very rich and diverse sound. The Album: "Long Winter Coat" Stuning, energetic song that leaves most first time listeners with their mouths open. Its about a lad who gets seduced be a woman, and largely taken avantage of 'Well the length of ehr hair, it was nothing so special, it was just long enough to wrap round my throat." Written and sung by Paul Hoad. "Flash Company" - traditional folk, sung by Mary and Sara - this is a song about the hazards of partying too much and ending up with no money - quite a lively song, and still relevant. "Star" Written by Sara Byers, everyone sings on this one. It's about a failing relationship, "in my dreams I can dance all around you, and just cover you over with stars." "Sparkle" - written by Paul Hoads, celebrating the presence of a child. Quite a sweet song. "Horse at the sp ur" - another Paul Hoad song, which I've heard him call 'fake folk' its about a lad going to dance and planning various exploits - getting the daft lad drunk "there's more between me and my saddle than he's got between his ears" and seducing a pretty farmer's daughter. "When a man's in love" traditional folk song, sung by Sara Byers, unaccompanied. About a lad convincing his lass to run off to south America with him. "So Weak" Written by Paul, also sing mostly by him. This is I think, about feeling old and powerless (they aren't that old though)"I've had dancing lessons, and I've new shoes by the score, perhaps when I was younger..... I can't keep up any more." Quite melancholy. "Sally free and easy" written by folk giant Cyril Tawney - amazing vocal harmonys with Sara and Mary. This is a song about a sailor whose girlfriend is a bit of a whore and, feeling betrayed, he plans to throw himself into the sea. "Sally free and easy, that should be her name, took a sailor's loving for a nursery game." "Grass is greener" - Byers and Hoad - a song about considering running away to warmer climes. "I will always be here for you, I'll be saying such prayers for you, I'll be keeping your home fires burning." It's also about the threat of being abandoned. "Hold Me." Byers/Hoad - one of my favorites, very powerful. "You line my lips with crying then make me speak to you,".... "I see the bees that sting you inside, I see the clarity they bring to your mind, oh hold me...." its about a troubled realtionship, clearly not working but impossible to break with. "Old Cold Town" energetic, written about London "one more cup of coffee wakes me up and it brings me round...." Lots of observations on modern urban life, and a fair amount of bile. < br><br> "Crystal tears" another traddy song with Sara singing on her own - another song of failed love and betrayal. Quiet ending to an album. As a first release its a truly impressive piece of work. This is a cleanly recorded album, with a good, well balanced sound. There are some very interesting tracks, and musically, it's excellent. Having seen these people live three times now, I would strongly recomend catching them in concert. Anyone who wants to know more can email me, I can put you in touch with them and you can get yourself on their mailing list. They tour about the UK a fair bit, so you should be able to see them somewhere. You can buy "Long Winter Coat" online, and if you visit their site, you can listen to the title track and "Flash Company". There should be a second album by now, but I don't yet have a copy, so I can't comment on it. website is: www.peoplesound.com/exec/artist/suntrap Live they are relaxed, but energetic, and the quality of their performace is awe inspiring. In the last couple of years they've gone from being fairly unknown to having a high billing at folk festivals around the country. They have a very distinctive sound, I think they are going to be a group to watch out for.

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