HAT FITZ & CARA – WILEY WAYS
- Emma Barnett
- Saturday, 8 September 2012
The energy of blues and roots albums never ceases to amaze me, and Hat Fitz and Cara’s album Wiley Ways offers up more raw energy than a bush band on a hot tin roof. The infectious clap-along first track Power hits you with the happiest tin whistle tune ever heard. Backed by a picking blues guitar and the zinging atmosphere of a live crowd, Cara’s sultry voice introduces the thigh-slapping track, before revving up to a gospel call and response that Aretha Franklin herself would be proud of. Wiley Ways turns left and right in the overlapping worlds of country, blues and folk music, fueled by the vigour of Cara’s scratching washboard and painted with beautiful contrasts between her bellowing folk strains and Hat’s gritty blues voice. Buried deep in an album infused with country blues of Hat’s guitar and banjo is a hike-up-your-pants jig called Sine, paying homage to the couple’s Irish heritage. The tin whistle returns in Go Daddy over a marching beat on Cara’s washboard (momentarily posing as a military-issued snare), though it is tracks like Red Rattler and Company Underground which serve up the classic foot-stamping country blues worthy of a spin at Shady Pines. 4/5
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