Naomi Bedford…let me be the first
You might think in this day and age of fast-flying megabytes and high speed connective connections you’d pretty much find out information about someone special with the whiz of a search engine and a series of clicks. No. Not always I suppose. If you are anything like me, a music junkie who flips through webpages the way one used to flip through the stacks of new albums, you’re always on the lookout for something new, something unfamiliar, something wonderful.
And so it was last week when someone was kind enough to put me on the trail of one Naomi Bedford. Google her name and a website comes up. It has some information, and it barely touches the surface of the surface. You keep climbing down the ladder and find a post here, a review there. She comes from the UK (I’m sorry…I write that and never know exactly what it means. Is she from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland? It’s not unlike saying “she’s from the US…could be Rhode Island, Iowa, or Texas. As if it explains anything.) She has two albums out and if you’re here like me in the US, California to be exact, you can buy each at Amazon. Which I’ve done. And I’m happier for it. (Note to the Amazon-ions amongst us…the first song on her latest album is offered as a free download.)
Let us not keep you in suspense. Here’s a video (my god..a video!) I found of her on the BBC website:
So on the second or third page of a Google search I found this from a booking agent called Big D Promotions and it was helpful:
“Naomi Bedford was born into a family immersed in music and learnt to sing from the age of 5. In 2000 the Hartnoll brothers heard her singing at a Brighton party and co-opted her to sing & co-write their Top 20 Orbital hit ‘Funny Break’. With this record she appeared on Jools Holland’s show alongside REM and across the national media but she soon changed paths; first to explore India & then to raise a family.
In 2007, re-enthused by the folk & country songs she had first loved as a child, Naomi re-entered the musical sphere with a Mick Glossop produced album Dark They Were And Golden Eyed. The beginnings of her unique fusion of English & Americana roots were evident, capturing the enthusiastic attention of Bonnie Prince Billy with her cover of his song ‘Riding’…
2011 saw the release of Naomi’s 2nd album, Tales from the Weeping Willow, a collection of dark songs, laments & murder ballads. Combining duets & original song contributions from Paul Heaton & Justin Currie; musical contributions from such disparate talents as the wonderful nu-folk star Alisdair Roberts, blues guitar master Kris Dollimore & producer Gerry Diver, the album reworks key folk & country styles to showcase the full range of Naomi’s haunting vocals.
Tales From the Weeping Willow is a full realisation of her talent & a beguiling new take on this timely & timeless music. Four centuries of music in 52 minutes of magic which has received rave reviews from; fRoots, MOJO, The Independent, Folkworks and many more.”
And here’s a little note from the website of Celtic Connections 2012, talking about a gig last week in Glagslow:
“Saying Justin Currie knows how to craft a song is a bit like saying Caravaggio could paint.” The ex-Del Amitri frontman’s signature synthesis of irresistible melodies, surgically barbed lyrics and superb vocals continues to bear rich fruit in his solo career.
He’ll also be guesting with late-blooming English songstress Naomi Bedford, debuting their collaboration on her ecstatically-received new album, Tales from the Weeping Willow.”
Late-blooming? I swear I can hear Ricky Gervais on the telly saying “Are you having a laugh?”
If I haven’t conveyed it yet, I think she is wonderful. Too often I draw comparisons of UK female singers to Sandy Denny, so I won’t do it again. But if I did…you get the idea. Anyway the latest album: who can resist dark songs, laments and murder songs?