Sara Grey and Kieron Means – Better Days a Comin

Album Review | Wild Goose | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

Sara Grey, whose voice has been a familiar sound on the world folk scene over the last half century, is joined here by her son Kieron Means, whose own voice is reminiscent of Doc Watson, which brings a sense of authenticity to this fine collection of both traditional and contemporary songs. Sara’s reputation on the Old Time music scene, both as a fine solo singer and banjo player, as well as a collaborator in her popular duo with Ellie Ellis, is well documented. Those of us who remember the 1980s will remember some of the duo’s engaging shows on the British folk club circuit at the time. 

Unsurprisingly, both mother and son sound good together here, their empathetic voices melding like honey. Both Sara and Kieran are steeped in the traditions of American folk music as opposed to what we like to refer to as Americana, which the two musicians are only too keen to point out. With over half a century as a performer behind her, Sara has a rich repertoire to draw upon and on Better Days a Comin, the sixteen songs and tunes showcases the duo’s familial unity, especially on such songs as the lilting “On the Way to Jordan”, from which the album gets its title, the blues-drenched “I Know Those Tears”, the apocalyptic gospel of “When This World is at its End” and the unaccompanied “Away Down the Road.”