Eleanor McEvoy – Stuff (Moscodisc, MOSCCD4111)

StuffPut together in response to fan requests for hard to find material, this is a vault scouring collection of material that embraces alternative mixes, B-sides and collaborations that embrace both previously issued and new recordings.

As if to make a point, she opens the sequencing with the blues-soul ‘The Thought Of You’, from I’d Rather Go Blonde, underscoring the fact she she’s about far more than the folksiness of ‘A Woman’s Heart’, the song that, for far too long, defined her career. Likewise, the inclusion of the mariachi tinged Rodney Crowell co-write B-side ‘Please Heart You’re Killing Me’ and the single mix of the breathy, bluesy stomp ‘Deliver Me’.

Other singles mixes are ‘Don’t Blame Me’ and ‘The Night May Be Young, But I Am Not’, though you’d have to be an audiophile to discern much difference from the album versions while ‘Lovers Chapel’ comes from the Homespun album with Dave Rotheray. A former B side, a strummed version of The Fratellis’ ‘Whistle For The Choir’, is one of three covers, the others being an all new take of Piaf’s ‘Milord’, sung in French, a number that’s been featured in her recent live shows and a re-recording of her slowed down, bluesy version of Chuck Berry’s ‘Memphis Tennessee’, reinterpreted into a wearily sad song by an estranged father denied access to his child.

Also given a new lick of paint (though nor no audio discernible reason) is ‘Take You Home’, also off I’d Rather Go Blonde, and a stunning rework of ‘Little Look’ (here titled ‘Take A Little Look’) that dispenses with the already sparse instrumentation of the original in favour of Polish a capella sextet Banana Boat whose Tomasz Czarny also provided the arrangement.

One for the completists rather than something to attract new ears perhaps, but a continuing reminder that McEvoy holds a secure place in the upper echelons of female Irish singers.

Mike Davies

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Artist website: www.eleanormcevoy.com