Welcome To New Hoyle
Bigtone Records 0821
Welcome to Brad’s world! New Hoyle is less a physical entity than a state of being: “It exists wherever I am,” Brad says candidly and informatively (albeit cryptically) in his liner note, “and you will come to know that place when you listen to these recordings.”
Hoyle, according to Brad’s artist’s narrative, is “not a place lost to time”, but, it turns out, a former name for the tiny burg of Ames in north-west Oklahoma where Brad’s grandparents had made their home.
Brad’s songwriting inclinations towards nostalgia have informed his ostensible placement squarely in that locality, whereas his musical idiom of choice is the template that comfortably straddles early ragtime, 12-bar barrelhouse blues, raggy hokum, cod-oriental and old-timey, as easy as breathing!
The pervasive, aromatic swingalong chugging vibe of the album is infectious; it’s honest ol’ good-time backporch fun, with deliciously oddball lyrics and a quirky instrumental complement to back Brad.
The thoroughly tasty supporting playing (including some cute, delicious – and admirably economic – incidental soloing) comes courtesy of a tight little trio ensemble of trusty cohorts comprising the Norman, Oklahoma, sousaphone maestro Charley Rivers(sic) and Kansas City duo the Matchsellers – aka Julie Bates (fiddle) and Andrew Morris (banjo, mandolin, guitar) – all crammed into a tiny Bristol, Virginia, studio belonging to Jon Atkinson of Bigtone Records.
It was all recorded live direct to mono tape on “vintage audio gear from the golden age of radio”, and each take was the final mix. High on the home-grown immediacy scale, then!
This unpretentious little record is virtually self-recommending to any fan of the genially oddball school. It’s been a real joy to listen to, and with its winning combination of gleeful down-home ambience, fun lyrics and natural, assured musicianship that doesn’t need to shout to proclaim its virtues, it has sure brightened up my week.
Folk London magazine
released December 3, 2021
Brad Fielder - vocals, guitar, harmonica, banjo
Charley Reeves - sousaphone
Julie Bates - fiddle, vocals
Andrew Morris - banjo, mandolin, guitar, vocals
Jon Atkinson - engineer
all songs written by Bradley Allan Fielder (BMI)
except Roll On Buddy (trad.)
all songs arranged by Fielder, Reeves, Bates, Morris
recorded live direct to mono tape at Bigtone Records in Bristol, VA, August 18 & 19, 2021
mixed and mastered by Jon Atkinson
photography by Doug Hill
layout by Brad Fielder