BARBARA DICKSON – Words Unspoken (Greentrax Records CDTRAX353)

Having travelled musically from her recognised commercial sound back to traditional roots, Barbara Dickson has now become…more or less…a duo working with her collaborator of many years multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley. This album nails its ‘folk’ colours firmly to the mast by starting with “The Magical West” (co-written by the protagonists) featuring a technically nuanced display of low whistle provided by the former You Slosh member and serves as the appetizer before the main course. I would like to point out that those expecting ‘commercial’ styled arrangements won’t find it on this recording as this is a far subtler project reflected in Dickson’s choice of songs. From established ballads including “Jamie Raeburn” and “King Orfeo” to Robert Burns “Ca’ The Yowes” it would appear that Ms Dickson relishes the challenge in the re-birth of her musical direction and with arrangements that are sparse but effective she seamlessly appears to have crossed back with no difficulty. As stated before, this is predominantly a traditional recording with the only other concession being Paul Simon’sBridge Over Troubled Water” that finishes the album simply backed by Donockley’s finger picked guitar. Of course, Dickson’s retrospective career, having plied her trade in folk clubs now stands her in good stead for a return to the fold and it’s pleasing to note that she has already been booked by several ‘folk’ festivals throughout 2011.


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