By Ed Sills
It’s not easy leaving the security of a job in teaching for the open road, but that’s exactly what young Louise Jordan did and she has never looked back. Relocating from London to her hometown in Hampshire the singer-songwriter met her husband and they set up their own studio. Now, with her own label, two albums under her belt and a third on the way, it seems that fortune really does favour the bold. Warm, charismatic and at ease on stage at the Old Kings Head, Belper, the former teacher quickly struck up a rapport with the club, but it her was plaintive music that truly captivated. Switching between guitar and piano Louise plays with a similar precision to the way she sings. There’s a crisp enunciation to her voice that’s high, but never shrill. It’s deceptive, at first one might think she is a little too polished, but then as you hear more you are suddenly struck by the strong connection she has formed with you. Citing the seminal album Tapestry as one her big influences Louise broke out a stripped back version of Carole King’s ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’. As I sat there listening I found myself remembering those long car trips I would take as a child. It was one of the songs my father used to play as he drove. It never fails to amaze me the power music can have to evoke memories in oneself and clearly Louise has the knack for drawing out this kind of reflection in her audience. Though she played many traditional folk classics like The Water is Wide, Blacksmith, and When I Was On Horseback I would be failing you if I said that her music was all about nostalgia. In fact where she succeeded best was in her deft ability to reinterpret and rewrite these tales for the modern age. On murder ballad ‘I Know Where I’m Going’, for example, she changed its narrative to reflect the desperate situation of those subject to honour based violence. Likewise, her version of ‘Silver Dagger’ was left open to interpretation, with the audience being asked to decide the fate of the song’s characters. Closing a well received set Louise played Salley Gardens, her take on the WB Yeats poem. Credit must also be given to the excellent supporting act, Milford’s Treacle City Trio – who opened the evening with their own brand of swampy Derwent delta blues.