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Roots - The Best of Show of Hands (Bonus Track Version)

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Customer Reviews

Brilliant from beginning to end

Okay, let me get this off my chest - Show of Hands should be much bigger than they are. The fact that they're all but unheard of on American radio is a crime that can partly be attributed to their being labeled a "folk" act. Well people, much of this isn't folk like any of you ever heard it. Forget "Blowin' in the Wind" - this ain't your granny's folk. That is, unless granny happens to be a p-d off, Guinness-swilling Devonshire lass with a fierce love of country and kin. This collection, while by no means definitive, presents an outstanding overview of the band (Steve Knightly and Phil Beer, with additional musicians on some tracks). It kicks off with the ferocious "Roots," which couches a serious protest song inside an irresistable melody. Other gems include "Country Life," a growler that laments the loss of an idealized lifestyle that may never really have existed; the haunting and tragic "Widecombe Fair;" and "The Galway Farmer," a rollicking traditonal Irish tune that dares you to sit still (you won't). There's plenty of softer but equally compelling fare as well. That's the beauty of Show of Hands - they can rock your socks off on one track, then come back and charm you or make you cry with the next. Great songwriting, outstanding vocals and impeccable musicianship - what more could you want? This one is a must.

Not folk. Just good.

Show of Hands have three qualities that make their music worth listening to: ability to play a tune, a lead singer with superb vocals and meaningful lyrics. They sing about hardship, love and how because of these two things life has meaning. To categorize their music as 'folk' places the band into a genre it doesn't belong to. Their music does not have the monotony folk music often displays and their lyrics aren't quite as nity gritty specific to ploughing fields or some such thing like that. Yes, there a banjo... but it sounds amazing! All in all, their music is worth listening to.


Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active:

Show of Hands consists of songwriter Steve Knightley and multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer. The seeds for the band were planted when the two were teenagers playing in their hometown of Exeter, Great Britain. They played together in various pubs and clubs around Europe, often with disastrous results, and eventually stopped performing together when high school ended. Knightley went to college while Beer dove right into the music industry. The two remained apart through the '80s, but found each other...
Full Bio
Roots - The Best of Show of Hands (Bonus Track Version), Show of Hands
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Customer Ratings