Following on from last week's Child Ballad theme, the first tune today is another fine version of "Annachie Gordon" (Child Ballad 239), performed this time by The Unthanks.
This alt-folk group from Northumbria (in the north of England, just below of the Scottish Borders) started off as a quartet of women under the name Rachel Unthank & the Winterset, then changed members a couple of times, reforming as The Unthanks in 2009. At the core of the band are sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank, joined, in the current line-up, by Adrian McNally (Rachel's husband), Niopha Keegan, and Chris Price, as well as a floating number of other musicians. All told, the Unthank sisters have produced five terrific albums of traditional folk music played in untraditional ways.
Above: "Annachie Gordon," with lead vocals by Rachel Unthank.
Below: "The Testimony of Patience Kershaw" by Frank Higgins, about a woman working in the coal mines.
Both songs can be found on the group's third album, Here's The Tender Coming.
In this earlier video, Rachel Unthank & the Winterset perform "Blue's Gaen Oot O'the Fashion" live at Abbey Road (2008). The song comes off their second album, The Bairns. The band's line-up at the time: Rachel and Becky Unthank, Niopha Keegan, and Belinda O'Hooley.
The Unthanks' previous appearance on this blog is here.