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GUEST,Banjiman Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011 (23) RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011 20 May 11

Another lovely review, this time from Folkwords.

Album Reviews
'Life, Love & Chocolate' - latest album from Wendy Arrowsmith
(May 17, 2011)

There's a quintessential beauty about 'Life, Love & Chocolate', the latest album from Wendy Arrowsmith with its mix of traditional and self-penned songs. And should an album touch your soul this year then this is the one. The package combines piercingly pertinent lyrics, beautiful melodies and Wendy's outstanding voice to produce an album of folk brilliance.

With the title song Wendy has created a future-classic that confronts today's issues - 'Sweeter by the Day' highlights the pain and disillusionment caused by the closure of Cadbury's Somerdale factory. It records the impact on workers and community facing the destruction of dreams and the callousness of those that 'cut and run' pockets bulging with cash. The tune is eminently memorable while the lyrics reflect the torture of corporate injustice.

Wendy's pure folk voice wraps around your ears to make each song 'come alive' just listen to 'Wild White Swan' (with its superb pipe accents) 'Greenwood Laddie' and The Miner's Widow's Lament' a perfect fit between voice and songs. With the 'The Lass o' Gowrie' Wendy has written a flawless song that could belong to this year or 100 years ago (a fine example of that enticing folk mix the 'contemporary-traditional' song) and again there's the perfectly placed pipes. Mixing tunes and lyrics from Ireland and America is a long standing folk tradition and 'The Southern Girl's Reply' is a fine example; and as the sleeve notes say: 'proof that the banjo can be subtle' definite gold star there Paul. The treats continue with the bluesy 'Riding Officer', the biblical influence of 'Isaac' and the politically motivated country-styled 'Midas Men'.

Wendy's albums just get better 'Life, Love & Chocolate' proves that - try this confection, it's a gem.

The artists lending their talents to various tracks on 'Life, Love and Chocolate' reads like a folk 'who's who' and includes: Gerry McNeice (bass and tenor guitars, vocals) Katriona Gilmore (mandolin, violin, viola, vocals) Marjorie Paterson (cello) Harry Scurfield (concertina) Sarah McQuaid (vocals) Will Pound (harmonica) Paul Arrowsmith (banjo) John Bushby (whistles, pipes) Caroline Bushby (harp) Roy Schneider (mandolin) PJ Wright (slide Guitar) Jude Rees (soprano sax) and Malcolm Bushby (violin).

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