On her debut solo album this Ripponden-based folk artist combines her talented instrumental ability with an array of traditional songs
Poor Strange Girl is the debut solo album from Yorkshire singer/multi-instrumentalist Alice Jones, a well-known face on the folk circuit through her work with The John Dipper Band and Peter Coe. Though Jones tackles much of the music herself, the fiddle of Tom Kitching (Pilgrim’s Way) and double bass of Hugh Bradley (The Whiskey Priests) adds extra depth to much of the record.
The songs, such as the title track, Woody Knows Nothing and The Cruel Mother are traditional folk songs which Jones has altered to varying degrees. Her soft Yorkshire accent often shines through and lends the record a conversational tone which seems a fitting way of passing these tales down to a new audience. Standout track Adieu To Old England is a simple piano ballad with a riches to rag story worth heeding.
Final song Long, Long Trail A-Winding closes the sepia-tinged album and is a showcase for Jones’ affecting harmonium playing. Poor Strange Girl may be too esoteric for the mainstream but within the world of folk it is an interesting collection of traditional songs and a thoughtful debut offering.
Verdict: Traditional tales reworked with due care