Mudcat Café message #3363685 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #15435   Message #3363685
Posted By: matt milton
15-Jun-12 - 08:10 AM
Thread Name: A Capella CDs???
Subject: RE: A Capella CDs???
Yes, I've heard Elizabeth LaPrelle a few times. It's great that someone so young is doing old-time music with such commitment and lack of compromise.

But while I really want to like her, at the end of the day, I just don't like her voice. She's too nasal for me, and her old-time stylisation (vocal embellishments, catches in the voice, stridency) sounds studied; it grates on my ears. I wish she sounded more like "Elizabeth LaPrelle" as opposed to "Elizabeth LaPrelle emulating all the old singers Elizabeth LaPrelle likes".

I feel much the same way about Frank Fairfield - I really want to like him, he clearly loves all the music I love with a passion, and he does everything right, but the singing sounds too much of a contrivance.

I heard something similar on this side of the pond the other day at Cecil Sharp House. I think the singer was Alex Neilsen, from the band Trembling Bells. He sang unaccompanied in this very affected way, like a kind of Chinese Whisper of what a "folk singer" might once have sounded like. It sounded over-thought-out and buttoned-up; no spontaneity there. Ultimately like an odd cross between John Jacob Niles and Ewan McColl. Which, y'know, plenty of people might find an intriguing propect! But I'm not altogether sure that was really what he was going for.