Reviews

It might seem absurd that folk noir duo Hungrytown’s latest album Further West – streaming at Bandcamp -made the Best Albums of 2015 page here, yet never got a full writeup. . . . [I]t’s by far their most vivid and intense album, in fact one of the most darkly memorable releases of the past many months. ... Not only is this one of the best albums of 2015, it’s one of the best of the decade, if anybody’s counting.” - delarue

New York Music Daily

. . . There were many times that my hair stood on end while listening to [Further West]—and it wasn’t my first listen, but my umpteenth. Once, during this listen, I was brought to tears. And I think that comes of listening all the way through to an honest work without any distractions in a quiet room. Listening this way is a great gift you could give to yourself. I’ve also enjoyed this album thoroughly while driving down the highway or cleaning up my sewing room. There is no filter here between you and Hungrytown – it’s a plain speaking, but also lushly orchestrated record which is a combination that is so uniquely Hall and Anderson working together, both bringing their strengths to bear on their newest work.  . . .” - Jeni Hankins

The Golden Biscuit Hour

My Discovery of 2015:  Hungrytown Rebecca & Ken play a delicious blend of acoustic based folk music with harmonies to die for. Often delicate, often reflective their music comes from the heart and the soul. Their latest album Further West is an album of journeys, journeys of the heart as well as the miles.”

Macwood Fleet

The 50 Best Albums of 2015 Further West The most elegantly arranged and arguably best album by poignant Americana songstress Rebecca Hall and multi-instrumentalist Ken Anderson’s plaintive folk noir band.”

New York Music Daily

[Four stars] **** Further West is the third album from Vermont-based duo Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson. They are well supported here by long-time collaborator, cellist Suzanne Mueller, and fiddler Lissa Schneckenburqer. The album opens unusually with the haunting waltz of the title track, with Hall's striking vocals casting a seductive spell. 'Hard Way To Learn' is driven by Schneckenburger's fiddle and Anderson's clawhammer banjo, telling the tale of a runaway mother who comes face-to-face with life's hard realities. 'Don't You Let Me Down' is classic mountain folk, whilst the lovely ballad 'Day For Night' ponders the changing landscape and dying American dream. A convincing a capella take on Woody Guthrie's dustbowl classic 'Pastures Of Plenty' follows. It's a beautiful cover, but the real strength of this album lies in the authenticity and honesty of their own lyrics, mainly penned by Rebecca Hall, tethered to the superb musicianship on display from all four. The traveling songs 'Don't Cross That Mountain' - all fear and danger on a disastrous journey, 'Highway Song' - life viewed through a window, and 'Static', fueled by crackling radio, make an engaging trio. 'Ramparts And Bridges', penned by Mueller, is a poignant and elegant reference to Edna St. Vincent Millay's sonnet 'On Hearing A Symphony Of Beethoven'. Further West is a wonderfully realised collection of chamber-folk-pop and is an understated treat.” - Simon Hughes

— R2

[Four stars] ****"A collection of songs with a certain amount of grit and a bit of an edge that I am sure will pass into the tradition in the future – in fact, my partner is already eyeing a couple up to sing at future folk club singers’ nights.” - David Chamberlain

FolkWales

Hungrytown "Further West" Listen Here; 2015 Isn’t it great when an album grabs you with the first note? Well, maybe the first passage anyway, but the really great thing about this album is that it just may keep you with it through each and every song. This Vermont duo worked its magic on me with their brilliantly restrained and stylistic female vocals and male harmonies. Then there are the haunting acoustic guitars supplemented by violin and cello. Rebecca Hall sings with a classic British folk style, part Mandy Morton, part Jacquie McShee, and she nails every single line, digging deep in your psyche. There are twelve songs here and any Folkworld fan who is a true fan is going to want to listen to all of them, whether you prefer British, European, or American style, and whether you are traditional or modern. This has it all working.” - David Hintz

FolkWorld

Sometimes gigs are like buses, you wait ages for one & then two turn up at once. This weekend found me on an all too rare chance to see live music on successive days. Two husband and wife duos, two very different sets but both perfectly suited to their individual audiences. First up, Friday 18th September saw me making the trip along the M4 for my first visit to the Valley Folk Club at Pontardawe. The club has been going for approximately 45 years, 30 of which have been at it's current Ivy Bush Hotel home. In that time, many illustrious guests have performed at the club, the latest of which were American Folk duo Hungrytown. If you're not familiar with them, Hungrytown are Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson, Rebecca comes from a Jazz background, whilst Ken was a part of the New York garage band scene. The loss of a friend to cancer brought them into the world of folk and they haven't looked back since. The duo's Valley Folk Club gig was an entirely acoustic affair, with no amplification of any kind. Any doubts about this were soon dispelled as Rebecca's clear voice soon had a packed room enthralled. Unsurprisingly, songs from Hungrytown's latest album, Further West, featured strongly and it was a pleasure to hear the Valley Folk Club members harmonising so well on songs like Don't You Let Me Down. In between the songs we heard stories about Rebecca and Ken's nomadic life and their time living in New York City, including the time their van caught fire whilst touring in the Pacific North West and how they came up with the band name. For me one of life's great pleasures is to find an interesting looking road and following it just to see where it goes, Rebecca and Ken found one such called Hungrytown Road whilst recording in the Bluegrass Country and decided to adopt the name. They never did find out whether a settlement called Hungrytown ever existed. Live, Hungrytown are every bit as good as they are on album, Rebecca's voice and Ken's playing are a pleasure to listen to and it was great to witness them feeding off the energy of an appreciative audience as they did at the Valley Folk Club. Hungrytown are touring the UK until the middle of October, if you can, go and see them. Personally I look forward to catching up with them when they return to the UK in September 2016.” - David Chamberlain

FATEA

Hungrytown make no attempt at pretense. Even their handle hints at an unadorned, unaffected motif. Theirs is a sound that’s conveyed simply, drawn together by the solitary strum of acoustic guitars, a bit of banjo playing, and the occasional keyboard. Strains of cello and violin creep into the arrangements as well, but for the most part, it’s the Hungrytown twosome -- singer-songwriters Rebecca Hall and multi-instrumentalist/arranger Ken Anderson -- that color these songs so purposely and poignantly. Further West, the Vermont-based duo’s latest LP and third to date, continues their well-stoked brand of durable folk, sounding for all the world like a collection of traditional tunes hewn either in a hollow or in the highlands, in a different different age than this. Hall’s voice is lilting and engaging, creating a sound that echoes with purity and passion. Songs such as “Further West,” “Sometime,” Day for Night,” and “Troubles in Between” -- and indeed, practically every number in-between -- could have been drawn from either England or Appalachia, with roots that were hewn in-between. The music requires a closer listen of course, which, in turn, insists on quiet contemplation as an absolute necessity. Still, the time spent offers an ample return, given these lovely melodies and a sound so soothing and engaging, it practically begs a quick return. Kudos then to Hungrytown for taking a time-tested approach and effectively making it their own.  ” - Lee Zimmerman

No Depression

Hungrytown is a remarkable folk duo. Rebecca Hall began as a jazz singer, Ken Anderson a drummer for a variety of garage bands. When a mutual friend who died young bequeathed to them her guitar and collection of folk albums, a spark was kindled. Multi-instrumentalist and singer Anderson and writer Hall together form Hungrytown, a special folk duo with literary texts, beautiful arrangements and remarkable vocal harmonies, with Hall as the lead singer. Her singing is unexpectedly reminiscent of Karen Carpenter of the Carpenters, but Hungrytown's music is just a bit more intelligent and subtle. As previously stated, attractive arrangements, brilliant guitar playing, and above all, very good songs. Sometimes recalling British folk, at other times reminiscent of the Appalachians or the Byrds, it falls somewhere between folk rock and old time folk. Hungrytown is simply unique. Pure class.”

Moors Magazine (Netherlands)

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