“Bare Foot Folk is an excellent album”
- Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio2 Folk Show
"Now an album which has grown on me the more and more I listen to it is Bare Foot Folk from Ange Hardy. She lives down in the west country, writes all her own stuff, but they do sound as though they've come straight out of the soil of Devon and Somerset, I really like them.
...It'll be interesting to see when Ange does another album whether she carries on writing stuff which is very very rootsy and very very folky, I do like her stuff"
- The Mike Harding Folk Show
“A collection of unfailingly listenable, self-penned acoustic songs. Amongst this charming assortment of melodies we are treated to highly catchy tunes, some nods to ancient times as well as choice references to the present day.”
- R2 Magazine (Rock'n'Reel) ****
"I cannot find fault with her songs at all, they had me gripped to my seat, hanging on to every word."
- Maverick Magazine
"Simply beautiful. My 'album of the week'."
- BBC Somerset
"Ange’s sound itself is sweet, that is the only real word for it. Sweet as in pleasant to hear and leaves you wanting to have just one more. The album is all her work so the extra voice dubbing is a good addition as it gives her already strong voice an extra magical hold over the listeners."
- Bright Young Folk
"If I were putting the album of the year show together today, this would be it.... watch out for Ange Hardy... she's bursting onto the scene fully formed"
- Readifolk Radio
Bare Foot Folk is the much anticipated studio album from Somerset recording artist and songwriter Ange Hardy, and it's departure from the fully produced musical ensemble of her first album makes a clear and bold statement: Ange Hardy is an acoustic folk artist heading straight to the top.
The resurgence in popularity of folk music appears to be a direct response to the commercialism of mainstream music. Live and honest music, real instruments, songs with stories, and stories behind the songs. Musicians for whom music comes first. Musicians for whom identity is something they have not something that is manufactured.
Writing songs that feel like they should have always existed is something that comes naturally to Ange Hardy. Bare Foot Folk features 14 songs, all written by Ange. Honest, raw, and unashamedly exposed this is an album stripped back to the stories, the striking vocal harmonies, and a background of delicate guitar work. These new songs all feel as timeless as the traditional folk music they are so steeped in.
First and foremost this is an album of stories. Young Martha's Well is a story of a Mother’s eternal love, Crafty Father John is destined to make you chuckle, Mother Willow Tree is a moral tale about the heart behind your actions. Forlorn Land is a battle cry for the suffering and injustice of war, Away With You Lassie, The Old Maiden, and The Storm Has Now Begun are a trio of songs about the tragedy and peril of the sea... the list goes on. In every track on the album Ange paints a vivid scene and then stands in the middle of it to tell you the story.
Dedicating time to be a mother to her young family has forced Ange to keep a low profile since the release of her first studio album. Her son Luke (who, a few months before he was born, kicked his way through Ange's performance in the finals of the Isambard Nu-Folk Awards) is now two years old, and her blossoming daughter Amy is now nine. Ange is finally starting to return to the path to the top that she was so confidently treading when she began her journey.
Ange Hardy grew up in and around Somerset. Despite the rich heritage in the area for folk music, her journey has been far from easy. Ange learnt to play guitar at the age of 14 when living rough on the streets of Ireland. Watching the ease with which she now engages with delighted audiences at festivals and concerts it's hard to imagine the trepidation of those formative years.
Bare Foot Folk was an obvious choice for the title of this album: it's an album about roots, about grounding, about raw and exposed folk music. All from a musician who never like's to wear anything on her feet when she's performing.
Ange Hardy is still a solo performer, but she's added a 'looping pedal' to her live show. This box of tricks allows her to record and instantly play back vocals from the stage. The result is the ability to recreate in a live environment the lush vocal harmonies that feature so strongly on this album.
"My life has finally reached a place where I'm starting to settle into a new rhythm of life, and that's allowed my music to draw on the stories of others rather than purely writing about my own story," says Ange. "These songs represent me as a live artist, these are the songs the way they sound when I write them, and this is the way they sound when I perform them."