Milton Hide are Sussex based Jim and Josie Tipler. On the album cover it states ‘To walk along a holloway is to tread a well-worn, ancient path. Shafts of sunlight guide you through a tunnel of intertwined trees’. And that sort of captures the sound of this album: self-penned folksy songs, pleasant harmony vocals, Jim’s very cultivated guitar work and Josie’s occasional clarinet. The cover of the CD is an impressionistic painting by Josie of a holloway.
Double bass, bodhrá percussion and strings on some tracks beautifully augment the fundamental melodies of the pair’s songs.
The upbeat first track ‘All Gone South’ is not an allusion to what some women fear, but a treatise on moving to the sun and questionable economics.
‘Found Drowned/A Perfect Place’ begins a cappella and turns into a pleasing guitar and clarinet piece.
‘The Ballad Of Gabriel Oak’ and ‘Widow’s Revenge’ show the depth of experience the two must have with folk music, I would guess we have two folk aficionados at work here. These two songs could have been written centuries ago, echoing love and hate stories with twists, as many folk tunes do, with very accomplished melodies. Honestly, these songs wouldn’t be out of place on a Sandy Denny or Steeleye Span album.
The title track is the last on the album. A beautiful, very short instrumental with guitar and clarinet conjures up the peace and tranquility of walking a sylvan holloway, and is a fitting ending to such a rustic and charming album.