As a result of band members pursuing opportunities with others bands and the retirement of Lachlan Foley the band trod water for a while restricting performances predominantly to Salamanca Market duties and the occasional wedding gigs. The popularity of the band did not wane and album sales continued.
As a result of Hannah being absent on a regular basis due to commitments with another couple of bands, Declan and Hugh commenced performing as a duo. During Hannah’s absences Declan and Hugh continued performing at Salamanca Market and took on gigs including a few in the United Kingdom whilst on holiday. During this period without Hannah the boys took the opportunity to move in a different direction. Predominantly performing guitar/banjos but increasingly guitar/guitar tunes.
In early 2012 Declan and Hugh decided to revisit Red Planet Studio and record a new album. This time the recording and production were tasked to Jake Long who expertly directed the proceedings.
This album, New Direction is a side project that has kept faith with the Celtic/Bluegrass themes associated with The Foley Artists but has moved into a unique direction that developed due to the telepathic connection and shared musical direction that the twins enjoy. Hannah joined the boys on a number of tracks that has ensured the “Salamanca experience” is replicated on the album.
The group has subsequently received feedback that a feature of the album is Hugh’s progression to vocals as evidenced by renditions of Falling Slowly, Sew My Name and Drugs Don’t Work. In addition, the album features some “Claw Hammer” banjos tunes, which we have bundled together as The Tarkine Suite.
The transition was not about Declan and Hugh moving on from Hannah and cutting away from the history with The Foley Artists. This could not be further from the truth. The transition was increasing the variety of music that the group now perform and to continue to push the boundaries of the musicians performances. When Hannah was available the new songs were adapted in the way they were played and led to the musicians taking turns to take their music in different directions.
The interruption to the consistency of performing as a group gave all the opportunity to grow as musicians.