LOWRI EVANS & LEE MASON – A Little Bit Of Everything (Shimi Records ShimiCD0011)

Lowri EvansI have to confess that when Lowri Evans released her debut English language album I really wasn’t a fan and I wasn’t allowed anywhere near her records again. Things have changed in the decade since. Lowri’s voice has warmed somewhat and her songwriting has certainly matured. Lee Mason was her producer, guitarist and sometime songwriting collaborator then and now, on her sixth album, A Little Bit Of Everything, he gets equal billing.

This album is live in the sense of being “off the floor” with no supporting musicians and all the songs, with the exception of two covers, have been heard before. The oldest, in terms of recording history, is the final track, ‘Merch Y Myny, which Lowri has returned to more than once. From that first English album comes ‘Maria’s’ (originally ‘Not At Maria’s) and all I can say is that if Lowri had performed it then as she does now our musical relationship would have been very different. She displays a power in her voice that I couldn’t detect back then.

My two favourite songs are ‘Deep Inside, a sort of character study and ‘Seventeen’, which seems to hold a mirror up to Janis Ian’s seminal work. Even when writing in the first person, as here, Lowri is able to step outside herself and bring some balance to the situation.  The covers are the standard ‘Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out’ which allows Lowri to extend her voice again, and ‘Cân Walter’ by unheralded Welsh songwriter Meic Stevens.

I like this stripped down recording with just two guitars and two voices. I’d felt that there was a tendency to wrap Lowri up in a cocoon of orchestration leading to a soft jazz/pop sound and A Little Bit Of Everything proves that she doesn’t need that.

Dai Jeffries

Artists’ website: www.lowriandlee.co.uk

‘Seventeen’ – official video:

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