The 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.
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‘Get One Life’ – live: