Things That Matter

A classy offering from the classy father and daughter duo. For those who don’t yet know, Rogan Senior has a rich, warm voice, providing the perfect base against which Louise is allowed to soar, her voice having been described as ‘unrivalled on the current folk scene’.

Such is the bond between them that it is both a surprise and ironic that so many songs on the album are based on separation. Separation by conscription (‘The White Cockade’ – one of the few non-original songs on the album, though two of the three feature additions by either Louise or Chris), naval service, emigration, conflict and death. That said, it all comes good in the end, as the final track brings us John Doyle’s ‘Exiles Return’.

In true folk tradition, there’s a strong sense of history throughout. Beyond the subjects referred to above, there are shipwrecks, escape from the Irish Famine aboard the ‘Jeanie Johnson’, which carries the hopes fears and indeed new born of Daniel and Margaret to the New World, and the same ship makes a reappearance in the final song, carrying the exiles on their return journey. Conversely, there is no escape for a highwayman and the duo celebrate the solidarity of the Lancashire textile workers with American slaves, telling how they refused to handle the cotton they picked.

The exception to all the above comes in the opening, title, track which is much more personal – though in a way that strikes a universal chord, as we are reminded of those aspects of life that bring us true meaning.

What truly makes the album memorable are the voices, individually and together, blending harmonies, taking turns or just following each other as the material suits. There are points where voices – particularly Louise - has been looped or multitracked, providing an almost ethereal feel. It should also be noted that while the voices provide the highlights, they are no slouches instrumentally and Chris’s guitar has a fine tone that compliments and accentuates without ever dominating proceedings.

Overall, a hugely enjoyable listen – if you have seen them live, then a great reminder of time well spent and just the album for the car journey from Wigan to Chester (and another listen on the way back) – trust me, you won’t regret it!

At the time of writing, Louise is out on a solo tour – our advice is to get there if you can!

Buy the CD from their website