Yorkshire’s acoustic duo, Union Jill (Sharon Winfield and Helen Turner) release their new album Respectable Rebellion, on May 11, 2013.Union Jill’s songs combine strong melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. With both Winfield and Turner on acoustic guitar, mandola and vocals , the duo’s sound is distinctive and fresh.
Union Jill’s Respectable Rebellion is a vibrant collection of 13 new tracks. The album has been produced by Clive Gregson (Richard Thompson, Nanci Griffith, Gregson and Collister) and John Wood (Pink Floyd,Cat Stevens, Nick Drake, Fairport Convention) and features an impressive roster of contributing musicians.
The impressive arrangements include rich harmonies, whilst the instrumentation ranges from gutsy and dark to a feathery light touch. Clive Gregson on guitar is masterful and fluid. Andy Seward demonstrates he is a virtuoso on upright and electric bass and throws in a delightful banjo on Queen of Holloway. Mark Boyce on drums expertly drives the rhythm and adds delicate moments throughout. The effervescent Ric Sanders is unmistakable on fiddle, particularly on Morecambe Bay where he characteristically lets fly. Kate St. John on sax and cor anglais brings added sparkle to Trailblazer and Witch Hunt. Top all that talent off with the genius that is John Wood capturing the detail and the vibe of each track and you have a formidable album.
‘This album is a quantum leap for us,’ says Sharon Winfield, ‘the production brings out the live sound, the results are superb. Working with Clive Gregson and John Wood is a fantastic opportunity to develop our sound.’
‘We’ve really enjoyed making this album,’ Helen Turner adds. ‘We play well together as a duo and working with these brilliant musicians has been inspirational.’
To celebrate the release, Union Jill will perform with the band at the National Centre for Early Music in York on 11th May 2013 at 8pm.
Union Jill will be on tour this Summer. Dates and locations www.unionjill.org
For more information on Union Jill contact email@example.com
A quick preview of some of the songs:
Queen of Holloway is a celebration of the suffragettes who were rebellious and radical, enough to be the thorn in the side of the establishment of the time. This track has driving drums and bass and lots of attitude!
Trailblazer is the story of the women of WWII who delivered aeroplanes to the front line. Inspiring courage from our Grandmothers’ generation who broke the mould.
Red on the Stair is a dark and true story about Kitty Genovese, a woman stabbed to death close to her home on her way back from work. The case was made famous because the crime was reportedly witnessed by a number of the neighbours, but no-one rang the police or ambulance until it was far too late. One person is reported to have shouted ‘leave the girl alone’. This became a famous incident to illustrate so-called ‘bystander syndrome’.
Morecambe Bay features Ric Sanders on fiddle. This musically strident and energetic song is an angry telling of the fate of the Chinese cocklepickers who perished at Morecambe Bay in 2004. Their gangmasters were guilty of the grossest of negligence and exploitation – an attitude that led to the deaths of 18 of the unfortunate workers in the dangerous tides of Morecambe Bay.
Mad Alice is a song is based on an intriguing story told in York of Alice, who in her day was declared insane and hung in 1825 for her ‘madness’. The story is frustratingly thin on detail so our song speculates about the treatment and fate of poor Alice – who eventually had one of York’s famous snickleways named after her (Mad Alice Lane), renamed now as Lund’s Court. The lane is of course haunted by her sad ghost!