THE BEVVY SISTERS – This Moment (Interrupto IM007)

This MomentThe Bevvy Sisters first came to our ears in 2009 with an album of mostly old songs sung in the close harmony style of the 40s and 50s edged with jazz and blues. Five years later, their follow-up, Plan B, continued in the same vein, although perhaps a little more seriously. Now comes their third album, This Moment, and while the style remains broadly similar, the substance is rather more sophisticated – there is a distinct lack of banjo. There have been changes in line-up and Gina Rae and Louise Murphy complete the band with founding members Heather Macleod and “token male” David Donnelly.

All the songs except Melody Gardot’s ‘Love Me Like A River’ are written by band members. The opener, ‘Timing’, is an observation on the pace of modern life complete with fake station announcements, sung in the Bevvys’ classic style. ‘Get Go’ is a funky workout with Vini Bonnar guesting on drums and Macleod’s ‘Home’ presents a moody slice of lounge jazz with brief solos and fills which I guess are treated guitar by Donnelly.

‘Heal This Heart’ is a gently bluesy song by Murphy which begins softly with their other guest drummer, Tom Bancroft, being joined by Donnelly’s acoustic guitar. Inevitably it ends with rich harmonies from the three principals. A cover of a song by Melody Gardot is a real no-brainer in the context of this album, built on Andy Thorburn’s piano and Alistair Brown’s cello it’s smooth and lush.

There’s a change of pace towards the end with the rolling, country-tinged ‘Waterline’, possibly my favourite track of the set and the gentle ‘This Moment’ – sadly not the old Mike Heron song but addressing the same idea from a far less optimistic viewpoint.

This Moment is a smooth and sophisticated piece of work and I applaud The Bevvy Sisters for moving forward but I miss the sense of fun they used to bring to their music.

Dai Jeffries

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‘Get One Life’ – live:

THE BEVVY SISTERS – Plan B (Interrupto Music IM004)

bevvyAcclaimed by the likes of Lau, Eliza Carthy and Dick Gaughan, Heather Macleod, Gina Rae, Cera Impala and honorary sister David Donnelly have been making waves on the Scottish acoustic music scene for a while, but now, with the release of their sophomore album (the first with the current line up) they’re setting sail into wider waters.

Their name nodding to such vintage female harmony trios as the Beverlys, Andrews and Boswells while also evoking the more contemporary likes of The Roches, The Be Good Tanyas and even soul act The Pointer Sisters, they trade in old school Americana, embracing folk, blues, gospel and swing with covers, self-penned and traditional material. Despite a sparse instrumentation of just banjo, guitar, whistle and double bass, embellished on the album with fiddle, drums and snatches of electric piano, theirs is a full and lively sound, signalled from the get go with a perky version of the gospel classic ‘Ain’t No Grave’.

They certainly breathe new life into old standards, augmenting the album’s trad inventory with a lovely slow waltzing take on folk murder ballad ‘Willow Garden’, a moody ‘Father Adieu’ accompanied by just bluesy guitar with the girls providing interwoven three-part harmony over which Donnelly sings in French and a capella album closer ‘Sylvie’, better known as the sexually euphemistic blues gospel ‘Bring Me Little Water Sylvie’.

Edinburgh songwriter Sandy Smith contributes two numbers, the bluesy ‘Six Degrees’ and the lazingly dreamy ‘Little Bird’, with Impala and Donnelly providing the remaining cuts. He’s responsible for and is vocally prominent on ‘Junkyard Band’, a bluesy gospel slouch carried on a handclap worksong rhythm and dirty slide guitar, and the double bass throbbing, finger-clicking jazz swing of ‘Devil May’ care, a number that really nods to those 40s trios. Perhaps because she’s the outfit’s banjo player, Impala’s offerings all hew to a more country sound with the huskily sung slow swayer ‘Whisky’ which features husband Dirk Ronnenburg on fiddle, the breathily uptempo mountain music fuelled ‘Higher Place’ with its brushed drums and banjo solos and ‘Row My Boat’, where western swing meets gypsy jazz and, a compliment of the highest order, sort of reminded me of Toy Hearts. What they do won’t be to every folk or Americana devotee’s taste, but if this is your tipple, then you should really have a bevvy or three, the effect is decidedly intoxicating.

Mike Davies

Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 


Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD
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Physical link to the US Storehttps://folking.com/folking-us-storefront/


Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist website: www.bevvysisters.co.uk