Mudcat Café message #3215124 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #137551   Message #3215124
Posted By: Banjiman
30-Aug-11 - 10:03 AM
Thread Name: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
Here's one from Northern Sky:

(What are Ganaches anyway? Not a word you see in CD reviews very often!!)

Is there a better subject for an opening song on a record than chocolate? Sweeter by the Day incorporates a delicious chorus, where we are encouraged to dip our dreams in chocolate in order for them to grow sweeter by the day, which is all well and good until we discover the song's real message, a lament for those affected by chocolate factory closures, sadly gone the same way as all our other industries.

Glasgow-born singer-songwriter Wendy Arrowsmith follows her previous albums NOW THEN? (2007) and SEEDS OF FOOLS (2009), with a new collection of songs, some self-penned, others traditional or arrangements of contemporary songs, but each with a distinctly traditional feel. The mood of the album is maintained by a handful of choice musicians and singers including one of the busiest musicians on the folk scene Katriona Gilmore who plays fiddle, viola, mandolin and provides some backing vocals, along with Marjorie Paterson on cello, Will Pound on harmonica, John Bushby on whistle and pipes, Caroline Bushby on harp, Malcolm Bushby on fiddle, P.J. Wright on slide guitar, Sarah McQuaid providing vocal harmonies on a couple of songs, Harry Scurfield on concertina, Roy Schneider on mandolin, Jude Rees on soprano sax, Paul Arrowsmith on banjo and Gerry McNeice on double bass and tenor guitar, who also produces.

One or two songs here have come from the tradition taking the shortest route, The Southern Girl's Reply for instance, which was learned from the singing of Jeff Warner, whose mother collected the song, which was originally a poem set to a Civil War marching tune. The American feel is highlighted by Paul's banjo picking. Wendy's own songs are imbued with a strong sense of the past and are likely to be mistaken for traditional songs, Riding Officer and The Lass O' Gowrie for instance. Wendy also wanders effortlessly into gospel territory with the engaging Moody's Waltz, referencing Charles E Moody's gospel standard Drifting Too Far From the Shore. There is a bonus track tagged on to the end, The Visitor, which brings the sea faring folk of North Yorkshire's coastline vividly to life, incorporating a good strong shanty chorus; an ideal chorus for those currently preparing for Whitby Folk Week.

With informative sleeve notes and lyrics, bound in a handsomely designed booklet, LIFE, LOVE AND CHOCOLATE should be taken with a nice cup of tea and of course, a selection of soft and creamy truffles with highly lickable ganaches.

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky