KAREN MARSHALSAY – The Road to Kennacraig (Cramasie Records CRCD001)

The Road To KennacraigKaren Marshalsay’s CD of harp music The Road To Kennacraig – due for release on 15th July 2019 – shows her to be a fine harpist specialising in traditional music and compositions of her own in that same tradition, with a particular interest in transferring pipe music to the harp. On this CD she plays three harps: a wire-strung clàrsach from Ardival Harps, a gut-strung lever harp from Jack Yule, and a Baroque bray harp, also from Ardival.  (On track 5 she also plays a boxwood D whistle from Jon Swayne.) On most of the tracks here, she plays the gut-strung harp: I’ve noted exceptions below.

Here’s the track list:

  1. ‘The Road To Kennacraig’ was composed by Karen and is played on the clàrsach, which has a clearer, cooler tone than the gut-strung harp. From a sparse opening, the melody develops into a series of variations incorporating the type of ornamentation characteristic of pipe music.
  2. ‘St Fillan’s’ / ‘The Rhymer’s Reel’: the first tune is a slow air taken from the 1895 Gesto Collection Of Highland Music, published by Keith Norman MacDonald, and to my ear has a somewhat Irish feel, not inappropriately given Fillan’s Irish connections. The second tune is a reel composed by Karen and part of a longer piece called ‘Thomas The Rhymer’, an instrumental interpretation of the adventures in Elfland of Sir Thomas de Ercildoun, as told in various romances and Child ballad number 37 ‘Thomas Rymer’. I was rather gratified to find a recording of the longer piece with fuller instrumentation on SoundCloud.
  3. ‘The Journeying Jig’ is another of Karen’s compositions, featuring variations similar to the extended variations of the pibroch or ceòl mòr form mostly associated with piping, though Karen’s is a name often heard in respect of the fairly recent revival using the clàrsach. While we are sometimes conditioned to expect a jig to be an energetic dance tune in an exotic time signature, this is a gentle piece in Em that explores the migration of pipe voicings to the harp. Very interesting.
  4. ‘Jane Pickeringe’s Lilt’ / ‘Emma’: the first is an (originally unnamed) tune taken from a book owned by Jane Pickeringe in 1616, seguing very effectively into a traditional Finnish waltz.
  5. ‘Ülle’s Reel’ is a slow reel written by piper John Saunders, and features whistle as well as harp: the warmth of the boxwood whistle and gut-strung harp make for a particularly attractive combination.
  6. ‘Ellen’s Dreams’ / ‘Pipe Major Donald MacLean Of Lewis’: the first is a tune by Robin Morton, perhaps best known as a member of the Boys of the Lough, who has added this album to his long list of credits as a producer. Unsurprising, it feels very Irish. The second is a contrasting march written by Pipe Major Donald MacLeod in honour of one of his contemporaries.
  7. The wire-strung clàrsach features again on the melodically simple but effective ‘Carrill’s Lament’, taken from James Oswald’s 18th Century collection Caledonian Pocket Companion.
  8. ‘Bert Mackenzie’s 70th Birthday Waltz’ / ‘Isabel Gow’s Welcome To Edinburgh’ features two modern pieces: the waltz was written by Louise Mackenzie, modulating with a sudden but rather effective change of key and mode into a march by Karen.
  9. ‘The Battle Of The Bridge Of Perth’ is traditional pibroch learned from Allan MacDonald, played on the clàrsach. Karen does a remarkable job of approximating the sound of the pipes here.
  10. ‘Helen’s Farewell’ is another composition by Karen: unsurprisingly, the arrangement has a much more modern feel, though the melody sits squarely in a traditional form.
  11. ‘Dr Karen McAuley Of The Books’ is another of Karen’s compositions, though I can perfectly well imagine it turning up at a tunes session. Probably played three times faster by a speedfreak accordionist. However, it’s very nice indeed at the gentler pace featured here.
  12. ‘The Rhymer’s March’ / ‘MacKinnon’s Brook’: the first tune is another segment from Karen’s ‘Thomas The Rhymer’, followed by a traditional strathspey. Both the wire-strung clàrsach and the gut-strung lever harp are featured here, along with the bray harp. (A wooden bray pin can be set to touch the base of each string, giving the bray harp a characteristic buzz – resembling the resonance of the sympathetic strings of instruments such as sitar and sarod – and also increasing projection.)

Perhaps it’s because of the Marmite sound of the Scottish pipes, but I think we sometimes underestimate the art of pibroch. Certainly my ears have been opened by this CD to a whole new appreciation of the genre, as well as to the instrumental artistry and compositional prowess of Karen herself.  I hope to hear a great deal more of her in the future: in the meantime, I suspect I’ll be listening to this CD quite a lot. Indeed, I’m already thinking that some of those pieces might transfer well to the guitar…

David Harley

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Artist’s website: www.karenmarshalsay.com

‘The Rhymer’s March/Cath Raon Ruaridh’ – live:

JULIE JULY BAND – Lady Of The First Light (Aurora Folk Records JJB19CD1)

Lady Of The First LightThe Julie July Band is best known currently for Julie’s sensitive reinterpretations of the Sandy Denny songbook, and their previous CD Who Knows Where The Time Goes represents a cross-section of classic Denny material. However, the live set I saw earlier this year included a wider range of Denny material (such as songs from her brief time with the Strawbs) and, intriguingly, first glimpses of material from their new CD. Lady Of The First Light doesn’t just move on from material associated with Sandy Denny, but eschews covers altogether, consisting entirely of original material written by members of the band. It’s a brave move, given that there are few bands in the Denny tribute niche, but many focused on original material. After all, any change in direction requires a certain amount of courage for a band that’s doing very nicely by doing what it already does, and you might expect the typical follower of a tribute band to be somewhat conservative. That said, it appears that a number of the band’s fans have been enquiring as to whether they do original material, and I don’t think they’ll find Lady Of The First Light disappointing.

The current line-up consists of Julie July (vocals), Steve Rezillo (lead guitar and producer of the CD), Don MacLeod (acoustic guitar), Gary Low (drums/percussion, sound engineering, production), and Nick Lyndon (bass guitar), though Julie is the only regular member of the band to be featured on the first track. The CD also features Chris Hutchison (piano, Hammond and vocals), Rebecca Rose (cello), Zoe Devenish (fiddle and vocals) and Nick Goode (fiddle).

  1. ‘Broken Wing’ was written by Julie July and Chris Hutchison, and is an effective ballad simply accompanied by Chris Hutchison’s piano and Rebecca Rose’s cello.
  2. ‘Raven’ was co-written by Julie July and acoustic guitarist Don Macleod. It’s an interesting lyric, hinting at the common cultural representation of the raven as a psychopomp, guiding the spirits of the dead into the afterlife. A good folk-y tune with some nice lead guitar.
  3. ‘Hallows To The Hills’ is the work of Nick Lyndon, its straightforward melody punctuated by some interesting time changes and carrying an ultimately hopeful lyric.
  4. Title track ‘Lady Of The First Light’ is the first of several songs written by Steve Rezillo. Lyrically, it’s an interesting parable with lots of Steve’s characteristically fluent lead guitar to back up Julie’s characteristically strong vocals.
  5. ‘Chicane’, also by Steve Rezillo, has less to do with F1 than with emotional chicanery: but who is being most deceived here? The ambiguity of the story is set against an attractive minor-key melody.
  6. ‘The Ballad Of Rory Starp’ (Steve Rezillo) is something of an oddity, drawing tension from the contrast of a lyric telling the tale of a highwayman against a rock-soaked tune and accompaniment, though with prominent fiddle. Yet it seems to work, somewhat like the use of classic rock in the Heath Ledger film A Knight’s Tale, or maybe the Eagle’s juxtaposition of rock and bluegrass on the Desperado
  7. ‘One Drink Is Too Many’ is another song by Nick Lyndon, with a country/folk-ish feel, dominated by acoustic guitar. There’s a nice country-ish twist to the storytellinglyric: “One drink is too many / too many is never enough“.
  8. ‘For All We Know’ (Steve Rezillo) shares a title but not much else with early hits for Nat King Cole or the Carpenters, though Steve Rezillo’s first lead break does remind me a little of Tony Peluso’s work with the Carpenters. (That’s a compliment, by the way.) Come to think of, there’s something a little 60s/70s about the lyrics, with lines that suggest stories not told here directly. Fascinating.
  9. The country-ish ‘The Healing And The Lies’ was co-written by Nick Lyndon & Emily Ewing, and is actually one of the tracks I remember standing out from the band’s set in Penzance a few months ago.
  10. ‘Black Heart’ is another collaboration between Julie July & Chris Hutchison, and opens with finely judged interplay between acoustic and very clean electric guitar. One of the slower, folkier tracks on the CD, and very effective.
  11. The CD ends with ‘Shine Together’, again written by Steve Rezillo, a suitably upbeat end to the CD with a strong chorus.

This is an excellent collection of songs, though I’m not sure there is a track that quite matches Sandy’s songwriting at its best, though ‘Raven’ comes close, for me, with its atmospheric lyric and attractive melody. That said, I don’t suppose the band plans to jettison the Sandy Denny songbook any time soon, and any or all of these songs would fit well into a Sandy-oriented set. In fact, it’s a collection that plays to their strengths. Julie’s vocals, always a little more mainstream than Sandy’s Gaelic-influenced ornamentation, are very well suited to this range of material, and the band’s instrumental support is as solid as ever. There are plenty of strong choruses here to encourage an audience, and it seems to me that this release can only widen Julie’s audience.

With such a strong start, I’m hopeful that the band will produce lots more original material, and if it does choose to go that route, I’m confident that there are even better things to come.

There will be an album launch party on the 9th June at the Old Rectifying House, Worcester WR1 3NN – tickets £8 from https://eventbrite.co.uk.

David Harley

Artist’s website: https://juliejuly.co.uk/

‘Lady Of The First Light’ – official video:

BURNING SALT – Automatic Lullaby (Own Label)

Automatic LullabyBurning Salt’s EP Dirt, inspired by the women and workers of Holloway prison and released in September 2018, was a stunningly intense and original aural and lyrical experience that earned the band a nomination for the Folking 2019 Awards in the ‘Rising Star’ category, but also gave them a lot to live up to when it came to releasing Automatic Lullaby, their debut full-length album. Fortunately, while the album is less conceptually cohesive, it has no less impact, giving us a more personal glimpse into Hannah Hull’s haunting songwriting.  It has all the (sometimes painful) honesty that I’ve come to expect from her work, with her distinctive vocals and acoustic guitar framed by the very capable and sympathetic musicianship of electric guitarist Bobby Williams (who also played piano and keyboards and produced the album) and double bassist John Parker.

Burning Salt are augmented on this recording by Daisy Palmer’s percussion on several tracks, Oli Arlotto’s baritone saxophone on ‘Superstitious Woman’, and Rupert Gillett’s cello on ‘Hold Me Down’.

Nevertheless, here’s the full track list.

  1. On the title track ‘Automatic Lullaby’ Hannah adopts an appropriately mechanistic vocal delivery in sharp contrast to the instrumental playout, in which mellifluous country-ish guitar is undercut by subdued discordance.
  2. ‘By These Words’ is a little more conventional, with a haunting tune carrying a harsh lyric.
  3. The melodic structure of ‘Hold Me Down’ for some reason reminds me of the sort of music I was apt to listen to in the early 70s, though the arrangement is economical where the 70s tended to be overblown. Still, I could almost hear Jim Morrison singing something like this. Actually, I’d probably buy this as a single if I didn’t already have it: it was still going through my head an hour after I first heard it.
  4. ‘Plateau’ starts from a slow-paced vocal that stretches the conventions of the love song well beyond the Top 40 – “I need you / I need you / I need you / but only if you behave” – and builds climactically.
  5. ‘Residue’ is a perfect exercise in saying exactly what you need to say, and no more.
  6. ‘Superstitious Woman’ has something of a rock ‘n’ roll vibe: I’m not sure about the freeform baritone sax solo, but even that has a certain OTT charm. And it’s rather a good song, its commercial potential presumably behind its release as a single.
  7. ‘Burn’ seems to me like rather a good rock track. Future single material, maybe?
  8. Thematically, ‘Lovers On A Ledge’ resembles ‘Residue’, and again needs only about a minute to make its point with precision, though its arrangement is quite different and rather daring.
  9. ‘King’ has a chillingly submissive timbre to the lyric, framed as a minor-key ballad.
  10. ‘Honey’ has been around for some time on the Burning Salt website as a video, and has also been released as a double A with ‘Superstitious Woman’. While at first blush it sounds almost like a 50s pop ballad, it has a sting in the tale, so to speak. “Keep your hands to yourself / I don’t need that kind of love…
  11. ‘Old Bones’ is an oblique lyric tied to another tune that lingers in the memory. Very effective.
  12. ‘You Missed Me’ is the shortest track on the album, with the main vocal line carried only by backing vocals.
  13. The uncomfortable lyric of ‘Take Me Home’ is carried by a simple chord sequence and some adventurous sound effects. An entirely suitable ending to an album that probably isn’t going on to the shelf labelled Easy Listening. In fact, after a few listens, I couldn’t think of a better choice for a final track.

This isn’t an album that makes much in the way of concession to commercial appeal – though there are some surprisingly catchy tunes and lines here – and the mood is generally downbeat, so it’s not going to appeal to everyone. However, if you heard and appreciated Dirt, I don’t think you’ll find this disappointing. If the band is new to you, check out the videos on the Burning Salt website.

Automatic Lullaby will be launched at the Hermon Chapel in Oswestry, Shropshire, on Friday 24th May 2019, the day on which it becomes publicly available on all major streaming platforms (or for download via the band’s own website). Going by the live set I heard the band do last year, the launch will be well worth your time if you’re in that area.

The album tracks ‘Honey’ and ‘Superstitious Woman’ have been released as a double single.

David Harley

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Artist’s website: www.burningsalt.com

‘Superstitious Woman’ – official video:

KEITH JAMES – Message From The Gods (Hurdy Gurdy HGA2928)

Message From The GodsThe forthcoming CD from Keith James, Message From The Gods, is released on Monday June 3rd, and it’s a worthy successor to the albums of Keith’s that I’ve previously reviewed on this site. Which is to say that it’s very good indeed. Keith is a fine poet and songwriter in his own right, as well as a highly-rated interpreter of songs by Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen et al. But he has also established an enviable track record in setting the poetry of other writers to music. This album continues to demonstrate his pre-eminence in that particular field, with ten settings of verse by Maya Angelou, Pablo Neruda, Frida Kahlo, Kahlil Gibran, Kate Tempest, W H Auden, Federico Garcia Lorca and Leonard Cohen. And here’s the track listing.

  1. ‘Tiresias’ is the first of two settings of verse by Kate Tempest. It’s rather a good example of Keith’s ability to make an effective song out of an irregularly-structured, rhyme-free poem. Some very nice slide guitar by Phillip Henry in this one, too.
  2. ‘You Are The One’ sets a poem by Frida Kahlo, better known as an artist. In fact, this poem to Diego Rivera makes for a very attractive love song.
  3. ‘All My News’ is a setting of a poem from Leonard Cohen’s collection Book Of Longing. The harmonies here and in track two are, appropriately enough, somewhat reminiscent of Cohen’s incorporation of female backing singers on his last tours. Indeed, if he’d set this poem to music, I suspect that his version would not have been unlike Keith’s.
  4. ‘Quartet’ is based on lines from Khalil Gibran’s collection of poetic essays The Prophet. Keith’s setting and arrangement has echoes of Western Asia that seem to recall Gibran’s Lebanese ancestry and awareness of a range of religious cultures.
  5. If the title of ‘Caged Bird’ reminds you of Maya Angelou’s autobiography I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, you’re in the right ball park, though Angelou’s book title was actually taken from Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s poem Sympathy. Angelou’s poem is clearly influenced by Dunbar’s, but is none the worse for that.
  6. ‘The things I know’ is another setting of a poem by Kate Tempest. The poem reads almost like a string of epigraphs – “Fame is the worst thing that could happen, to your reputation / If some people don’t hate your work, you’re not doing it right” – yet Keith’s reconstruction gives it added lyrical and musical coherence.
  7. ‘If You Forget Me’ is a setting of verse by Pablo Neruda. Was Neruda writing to his wife, his lover, or to Chile while he was in exile? I don’t know, but the song works very, very well.
  8. ‘Alone’ sets another Maya Angelou poem set to a blues-y tune with an adventurous arrangement.
  9. ‘Weeping guitar’ is vintage Keith James, setting a poem by Federico Garcia Lorca. No-one does this kind of setting better than Keith.
  10. H. Auden is probably best known popularly for Funeral Blues (“Stop all the clocks…“) since it was read in Four Weddings And A Funeral, though his technical range was far wider. His poem ‘But I can’t’, in this setting, sounds absolutely made for music.

Once again, Keith’s own musical expertise and sensitive vocals are supported by a fine set of musicians, and particular credit is due to the vocal support of Antonia Salter and the mixing and mastering skills of Branwen Munn. This is class material performed in an exemplary fashion. Highly recommended.

David Harley

Artist’s website: http://www.keith-james.com/

‘All My News’:

DARIA KULESH – Earthly Delights (own label)

Earthly DelightsDaria Kulesh is a very highly-rated performer in the hallowed virtual halls of Folking.com, so I count myself as rather lucky to have got a review copy of her forthcoming CD Earthly Delights, due for release on May 31st 2019. Once again, she is supported by an impressive selection of musicians. As well as many names already familiar from her previous CDs and/or live performances (all reputable musos in their own right, of course), three tracks also feature characteristically fine fiddle from the Phil Beer (tracks 4 and 9) and Tom Kitching (track 1). Most of the production is expertly handled by Jason Emberton, who also contributes much of the accompaniment.

As you’d expect, there are several songs here that derive from Daria’s Russian and Ingush heritage and her knowledge of Slavic folklore, but this time she’s cast her nets a little wider, without compromising her ability to tell a story in song.

Here’s the track listing.

  1. Daria’s lyrics to ‘Golden Apples’, with music by Igor Devlikamov, are based on a Russian folk tale concerning the Firebird, though not the story that forms the basis of Stravinsky’s ballet. An exhilarating start to the album.
  2. ‘Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood’ is Richard Farina’s lyric to the tune better known as ‘My Lagan Love’, a glorious melody collected by Herbert Hughes in Donegal in the early 20th A sensitive reading with restrained instrumental and vocal accompaniment, rather than the full-on harmonies of Sandy Denny’s version. Closer, perhaps, to the gentle orchestration of the version recorded by Mimi Farina after Richard’s death, though Daria’s vocals are more animated and accurate in pitch. (I still love Mimi’s version, though.)
  3. ‘Shame Or Glory’ is by Daria, and makes the very valid point that a McGonagall or Florence Foster Jenkins has the same drive to create and succeed that characterize more “successful” creators, and we should respect that. The arrangement has a sort of Kurt Weill/cabaret feel that I find very appealing. I like the interplay between Jonny Dyer’s guitar and Marina Osman’s piano, too.
  4. ‘Earthly Delights’ is another of Daria’s own songs. One of the ‘delights’ of Daria’s songs for me is the way that a line will sometimes spark an unexpected association, like the echo of ‘The Two Magicians’ in ‘The Panther’, from her last CD. In this case, it’s the line “Strange fruit in the garden of earthly delights“. The subject matter is far removed from Meeropol’s protest against lynchings, being more about the message that “If seeking pleasure and following your heart doesn’t hurt, subjugate or break others…then perhaps it’s a natural way to be…?” Yet there’s something very apposite about the last verse here: “Oppressed and oppressor…One person’s wrongs are another one’s rights.” An accomplished performance of a delightful folky tune with stunning fiddle from Phil Beer.
  5. There are many Slavic folk tales about rusalki (water spirits), often translated into literature and music – Dvořák’s opera is a particular favourite of mine. Daria’s ‘Rusalka’, however, is based on a short poem of 1819 by Pushkin, as translated by John Farndon and adapted and shortened by Daria, who has set it to music. Its presentation in this slightly condensed form does it no harm at all.
  6. Daria’s ‘Vasilisa’, previously released as a single, draws its theme from a Russian fairy tale in which the heroine encounters the supernatural Baba Yaga. While the story to some extent resembles the Cinderella story, Vasilisa seems morally more ambiguous. Oddly enough, the modality of the melody makes it a highly suitable companion piece to ‘Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood’, though the instrumentation has a decidedly Asian feel.
  7. ‘Morozko’ is another of Daria’s retellings in music of a Russian folk tale, with accompaniment that stresses its Eastern European origins.
  8. ‘Cap And Bells’ is an effective setting by Joseph Sobol of a poem of W.B. Yeats, from Sobol’s theatrical cycle In The Deep Heart’s Core: A Mystic Cabaret, with most of the accompaniment carried by Marina Osman’s piano.
  9. An unexpected inclusion is Percy French’s ‘Pride Of Petravore’. I have to admit that Daria makes the best of its tortuous Irishisms, though.
  10. Daria’s ‘Made Of Light’ is, in more than one sense, a lighter song, almost a ballad, augmented by Jonny Dyer’s expressive trumpet. Lovely.
  11. ‘Greedy King’ sets Daria’s lyric to a tune by the multi-talented Jonny Dyer, and melds a Soviet joke and the story of the Wise Men of Gotham into a telling commentary on the sad state of today’s world (not to mention yesterday’s!). The lyric may sound like a counsel of despair, but musically it offers a suitably upbeat finale.

Where Long Lost Home can be seen as a very personal journey into Daria’s own family history and heritage, Earthly Delights draws on a wider range of source material that still comes over as essentially Daria: some beautiful melodies, fascinating lyrics, all exquisitely sung and adventurously arranged. If you’re not familiar with her work, this is a good place to start.

The CD will be launched at Dunton Folk on 1st June 2019.

David Harley

Artist’s website: www.daria-kulesh.co.uk

‘Golden Apples’ – official video:

ODETTE MICHELL – The Wildest Rose (Own Label)

The Wildest RoseAs previously mentioned on Folking.com, Odette Michell is following up her well-received debut EP from 2018 (By Way Of Night) with a full-length album called The Wildest Rose. The new CD will be launched at TwickFolk, held in the Cabbage Patch in Twickenham, on April 14th 2019, and is due for release on the 26th April. The launch will feature special guests Richard Lee & Phil Beer which gives you some idea of the regard in which she’s held among her fellow musicians. Talking of which, Odette’s vocals, guitar and bouzouki are more than ably supported here by Phil Beer on fiddle and backing vocals (tracks 1, 3 and 10), Stu Hanna on a variety of instruments (especially violin) and backing vocals on most tracks, and Toby Shaer on fiddle and whistle (tracks 2, 7 and 8).

Here’s the track list.

  1. If the sleeve didn’t tell me that ‘The Wildest Rose’ was written by Odette, I’d have assumed it was a traditional song I hadn’t met before: not only because of the cast of the lyrics – it seems to be a trademark of hers to write lyrics that are strongly influenced by traditional forms – but because of the shape of the very strong melody which has more than a hint of Irish. Some fine fiddling (of course) from Phil Beer here.
  2. ‘The Banks Of Annalee’ is also along traditional lines lyrically but a little more contemporary in presentation, with very striking vocal multi-tracking on the chorus, and nice doubling up between the fiddle and whistle.
  3. ‘Rolling Shores Of England’ is a nostalgic song that benefits from vocal harmony from Phil Beer.
  4. The title of ‘Bless The Ground You Grow On’ kind of speaks for itself. The vocal harmonies (which reminded me a little of Alison Krauss) and mandolin are particularly effective here.
  5. It would be a trifle perverse to make a song featuring the ‘Great Old Northern Line’ sound very traditional, I guess, and in fact this one leans a little (not too much!) towards country, but as ever, it has a very strong chorus that I could well imagine being popular in sessions. Very striking lyrics: it’s a pity there’s no lyric sheet with the CD. I almost catch myself being nostalgic for the 25 years I spent commuting on the Tube.
  6. ‘True Lovers Farewell’ is a very classy minor-key version of a song sometimes known as ‘Fare Thee Well’ or ‘Ten Thousand Miles’ or even ‘The Turtle Dove’ (under which title it was arranged by Vaughan Williams, though this is a very different reading). Beautifully sung with very tasteful guitar harmonies.
  7. ‘I Once Loved A Shepherd’ starts with striking double-tracked whistle before moving into a very accomplished story-song, though the tune is a little reminiscent of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Urge For Going’ in the chorus.
  8. There are many broadside ballads about the Gunpowder Plot, but ‘Light Up London Town’ takes a more contemporary approach, and yes, includes a strong chorus.
  9. ‘Dance Me Through The Night’ is perhaps the most ‘modern’ song here, but still fits very well in delivery and instrumentation with the rest of the CD.
  10. ‘The Eastern Seas’ could easily pass as an Irish air, and a good one at that. A lovely finish to the CD.

All in all, this is a fine collection of excellent melodies, beautifully sung and played, most of which give a nod lyrically and or melodically to UK traditional forms without straying too far into pastiche, and are notable for their irresistible choruses.

David Harley

Artist’s website: www.odettemichell.com

‘The Banks Of Annalee’ – live: