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Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage in Otley

Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage
Horse & Farrier, Otley
Friday 28th October 2022, £15.40
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We are excited to welcome to Otley the spellbinding acoustic duo Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage, who are touring the UK following the release of their new album "Ink of the Rosy Morning" on Topic Records earlier this year.

Since emerging in 2016, Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage have been defying all conventions of style, genre and compartmentalisation. This seemingly unlikely duo have recorded two studio albums, Before the Sun (2016) and Awake (2018), produced by award-winning producer David Travers-Smith in Toronto, both praised for the crafting and skill of their musical writing and arranging. They have toured the UK, North America and mainland Europe, enrapturing audiences at shows and on festival stages alongside Americana and folk luminaries such as Sarah Jarosz, Martin Simpson, Seth Lakeman and Oh Susanna. They also appeared at the West Java World Music Festival, Indonesia in 2019.

Hannah Sanders has an alluring mystique and a voice of disarming purity that massages your senses with gentle ease. Ask her nicely and she will discuss witchcraft, tarot cards and her adventures in a family band busking through Europe in an old school bus.

Ben Savage is a bubbling ferment of energy, all fluffy hair, unkempt charm and infectious enthusiasm who will seemingly play any instrument you care to put in front of him with grace and favour. Ask him nicely and he will debate any musical tradition you care to mention and will tell you all about the dobro and his adventures with the band The Willows. 

On the face of it, you cant imagine this duo summoning enough common ground for an afternoon chat over a cup of rhubarb juice, let alone make astonishing, original music together. Ask someone to describe their music or say who they sound like and they will be bereft of words. 

Americana, some yelp. Yeah, maybe theres a bit of that, but at other times they sound quintessentially English. Oh, then they must be British folkies, comes the cry. Sort of, but not really, because they do all this other stuff rooted in American music too. Shall we just call them traditional? Not at all. They may incorporate various traditions, but they play contemporary music and have their own unique writing style too. 

After all, who puts English songs together with mountain dulcimer and dobro? Or incorporates ghost stories, blues, Northumbrian music, electric guitar, Woody Guthrie, murder ballads, Billy Bragg, human seals, old time songs, the Stockholm Archipelago, hangings, Appalachia, new moons, Joan Baez, cowboys, railway journeys, street singers and Cambridge into one mesmerising explanation of their musical philosophy? Not your average acoustic duo, thats for sure. 

Playful and instinctive, they constantly do the unexpected; yet they do it with such panache and natural chemistry it makes perfect sense. They are true originals, thats all there is to it. Distinctive. Innovative. Ground-breaking. Unique.


Passion, precision and unbridled intimacyAn exquisite soundscape - RnR

Spellbinding Hannah & Ben were born to play and sing together - fRoots

Flawless Folk Picks of the Month - The Guardian

Beautiful songs haunting dreamlike folk music - Songlines

Awesome a supremely divine album - Americana UK

This is folk music for everyone a master-class in proficiency, an exercise in individuality and a declaration of love of the folk tradition from both sides of the  Atlantic - Spiral Earth

Dreamy reveries, softly warm vocals, stirring guitar arrangements   
Sanders & Savage wield an elusive sort of magic - MOJO  

Beautiful- just magical, dreamy and gorgeous - BBC Radio 3 InTune

Sanders has a voice of such sparkling clarity that soars above and dips around Savages dobro   and their harmonies are exquisite. - No Depression



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