This autumn, Bella takes to the road with only her two fiddles and harmonium for company, stripping back the instrumentation from her latest record to return the songs to their newly written forms, and performing solo with the ‘Hey Sammy’ Acoustic Tour.
In the time since 2015’s 5-star reviewed With The Dawn, Bella temporarily relocated to Nashville where she became immersed in Music City’s culture of collaborative songwriting and also worked happily in the company of horses as a ranch hand. Two music-finding trips to Yunnan Province in Southwest China also saw this BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year Award winner return with a suitcase overflowing with new lyrical and musical notions. These radical changes of life and perspective flow through every word and note of the 11 songs on Hey Sammy – a glorious, accomplished, grown up record, delivered in Bella’s unmistakeable soaring and swooping voice.
Bella Hardy, BBC Folk Singer of the Year 2014, found her first home in folk music through a childhood love for ballad books. A self-taught “fiddle singer”, she began performing at Cambridge and Sidmouth festivals from the age of 13. Her debut album Night Visiting, released ten years ago, established her reputation as a songwriter when her first original composition Three Black Feathers earned a BBC Folk Award nomination.
Bella has since become a regular on radio and television, notably singing solo in a sold-out Albert Hall at the Proms. She’s written and recorded with everyone from Beautiful South founder David Rotheray to folk luminary Eliza Carthy, and performed with the great Mary Chapin Carpenter on her UK tours. Her seven-week residency in the Chinese city of Kunming was arranged by the British Council and the PRS For Music Foundation and resulted in the 2017 recording and release of Eternal Spring - an album of songs and poetry made in collaboration with Chinese singers and musicians.
It seems entirely fitting that Bella Hardy should mark a decade of remarkable recordings with the exceptional step forward that is Hey Sammy.