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Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011

02 May 11 - 04:44 PM (#3146672)
Subject: Life, Love & Chocolate - Wendy Arrowsmith new CD
From: GUEST,Banjiman

Wendy’s new CD "Life, Love & Chocolate" was released on May 1st!

For those interested you can hear 4 tracks here (you can also order the CD from here as well). Full track listings at this page as well.

It is also available on iTunes for those modern people amongst you. You can hear snippets from all 11 tracks here.

“Life Love & Chocolate is a superbly produced, exquisitely sung album, without doubt one of the most listenable albums I have heard for many a long month. Wendy has excelled herself with this fine collection of songs which not only shows off of her considerable vocal talents and natural musicality, but places her right at the top where she belongs.”

Stan Graham BBC Radio York.

“Full marks to Wendy for giving us a Landmark CD to treasure and to delight in for a long time to come………can only be described as the CD of the year”

Terry Ferdinand, Bishop FM Folk Show.

The CD features the considerable talents of:
Katriona Gilmore (fiddle, viola, mandolin & backing vocals),
Marjorie Paterson (cello- from Fyrish),
Will Pound (harmonica),
John (whistle & pipes), Caroline (harp) & Malcolm Bushby (fiddle),
P.J. Wright (slide guitar)
Sarah McQuaid (vocal harmonies),
Harry Scurfield (concertina),
Roy Schneider (mandolin),
Jude Rees (soprano saxophone),
Paul Arrowsmith (banjo),
Gerry McNeice (double bass, tenor guitar) ......... who also produced it.
Plus a merry band of "shantymen" for a little bonus at the end of the disc.

Please have a listen.

Paul arrowsmith

02 May 11 - 05:41 PM (#3146710)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: Arthur_itus

Well done Wendy. That surpasses anything you have done in the past by a long chalk.
You have come on a bundle.
Les Worrall

03 May 11 - 08:14 AM (#3147018)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: MoorleyMan

On just a couple of playthroughs, first impressions are wow! here's our Wendy having attained a new stage of mellow artistic maturity, blessed with some beautifully subtle and yet fully supportive backings, all matched to a comparably sympathetic production and a recording of an astoundingly fine standard.

(and BTW, I just luv the banjo contribution too !)

03 May 11 - 08:32 AM (#3147029)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: Mrs.Duck

It is a wonderful CD. We listened to it all the way home from Sewerby yesterday and were spellbound!

03 May 11 - 03:19 PM (#3147230)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: GUEST,Banjiman

"(and BTW, I just luv the banjo contribution too !) "

Such discerning taste David!!!!!!LoL

03 May 11 - 03:35 PM (#3147244)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: Arthur_itus

Oy it's not about you Banjiman, get back in your case :-)

03 May 11 - 05:04 PM (#3147290)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray

Best wishes for the new baby. You coming to Fleetwood this year? Hope our paths cross soon...

04 May 11 - 03:24 AM (#3147519)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: GUEST,Banjiman

I know Les....... but it's nice to get a few crumbs occasionally!

Wendy says thanks to all for the supportive comments.

04 May 11 - 08:19 PM (#3148127)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011

The Cd's great - I loved 'wild white swan'. ta very much.

05 May 11 - 02:27 AM (#3148284)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: GUEST,Burton Coggles


Will you have some for sale on the 20th?


05 May 11 - 03:00 AM (#3148302)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: Hamish

Looking forward to sharing the stage with you on Sunday at Holmfirth, Wendy. And I just suppose you'll have a few copies with you? What a cast list: stellar! And Paul. ;-)

05 May 11 - 11:03 AM (#3148543)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: GUEST,Banjiman

Thanks all.

Hi Suibhne, no plans to come to Fleetwood this year........ the kids insist on coming and making us go to Blackpool Pleasure Beach. We can't take this more than about every 2 years!!!!!

Thanks bONES, glad you're enjoying it!

Pete, I suspect there might be a couple of copies for sale on the 20th! Chris Wood & Wendy Arrowsmith, should be an OK night. Especially as it's walking distance from here!

Hamish, I'm trying to work out how to stick my tongue out on line.


06 May 11 - 08:23 AM (#3149160)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: GUEST,Banjiman

Oh and Hamish, CDs will be available at Holmfirth!

16 May 11 - 03:55 AM (#3154890)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: GUEST,Banjiman

First full length review (by David Kidman)

LIFE, LOVE AND CHOCOLATE " Wendy Arrowsmith (Wee Dog Records WDR. 001)

Wendy released her second full-length CD Seeds Of Fools just under two years ago; it was a marked progression from her debut Now Then (itself pretty impressive), and showcased her own excellent songs and her grasp of tradition in almost equal measure.

For the potentially difficult album number three, Wendy’s been busy cultivating her many useful contacts on the folk scene, who clearly share a keen admiration for her music, to the extent that they’ve lent their own considerable musical talents to the recording. This means that the sound-world of the new album is more consciously textured: a vehicle for the songs, i.e. literally a song-carrier, one that complements and extends Wendy’s own superb singing voice (and guitar etc.) in conveying the lyrics of her own (and others’) songs.

There’s a wonderfully mature sensibility to the whole production in fact, which is attributable to producer Gerry McNeice’s acute skill in attaining an apposite proportion and balance to subtle layerings and instrumental colourings. Or should I say, a deliciously warm, brown, mellow, yes chocolatey ambience, especially (tho’ not exclusively) on the tracks which involve string players (cellist Marjorie Paterson, violinists Katriona Gilmore and Malcolm Bushby). It’s to Gerry’s credit that Wendy’s own musical personality is never submerged or sublimated by his understanding and sympathetic production, which keeps all the various elements complementary and in believable perspective throughout.

As far as the material goes (and preserving the chocolate-box analogy!), you’ll discover within this delicious, attractively-designed package, songs with soft centres as well as some which prove marginally harder nuts to crack; here, songs from tradition and other writers nestle (as in “from a different chocolate manufacturer”!) comfortably alongside Wendy’s own compositions. Significantly, the opening track sets both the theme (Sweeter By The Day was inspired by a trailer for a BBC Radio 4 documentary about the closure of a chocolate factory) and the tone (rich, luxurious and tasty) of the whole album. After which, you think it can’t get any better " but it does, with Shetlander Mary Ellen Odie’s beautiful Wild White Swan, here flying gracefully aloft and resplendent with pipes (John Bushby) and cello (and the gorgeous supporting voice of Sarah McQuaid). Wendy’s equally sensitive treatment of Bill Adair’s phenomenally powerful Miner’s Widow’s Lament (with aptly plangent concertina from Harry Scurfield) is another standout track, as is her stark, plaintive rendition of The Southern Girl’s Reply (from the repertoire of Jeff Warner), here given an admirably subtle banjo backing by husband Paul (and further loving caresses from Marj’s cello): magic!… Highlights those may be, but on the remainder of the tracks too Wendy’s vocal presence proves as commanding as ever, whether in the role of persuasive storyteller (The Lass O’ Gowrie, Isaac) or in personifying a specific protagonist (the hapless wife of a Kentish Riding Officer). Before the disc’s bonus track (an epic, storm-tossed, cinematic remake of her award-winning tale of The Visiter), the CD “officially” ends on a more politically-conscious note with Midas Men (which features the energetic harmonica of Will Pound) and the country-style Moody’s Waltz, a timely reflection on, and reminder of, the desirability of making music instead of war (“Change the shotgun to fiddle and bow, Feed the soul and watch the world grow”). Nice one, Wendy!…

And of course, this disc is one chocolate-box-full of delights that (unlike its role-model) you can savour over and again, which is the best possible result.

16 May 11 - 04:05 AM (#3154894)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: Folkiedave

I played a track from this last week on "Thank Goodness It's Folk"



16 May 11 - 08:12 AM (#3155023)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: GUEST,Banjiman

The bribe worked then Dave!

16 May 11 - 02:43 PM (#3155257)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: Mavis Enderby

"admirably subtle banjo"

three words that don't usually appear in the same sentence!

Looking forward to Friday


20 May 11 - 05:47 AM (#3157462)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: GUEST,Banjiman

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).

01 Jun 11 - 04:47 AM (#3163574)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: GUEST,Banjiman

..... and one from FATEA -

It says something for the manufacturing base of this country that songs about its destruction are now focused on chocolate, rather than coal, iron and steel and cars, though all are alluded to in the opening track, "Sweeter By The Day", from Wendy Arrowsmith's new album "Life, Love And Chocolate".

Arrowsmith is not the first folk artist to sing about the betrayal of Cadbury's and though not mentioned the similar betrayal of Rowntrees, and hopefully she won't be the last. One of the things that gives folk music its strength is the sense of justice betrayed turned into words. The lying shareholders, politicians and senior management that walk away with pockets bulging with cash, whilst claiming we're all in this together.

Trades get a number of outings on this album. Particularly intriguing are the ones about professions which government created, but which were particularly despised by people in the communities in which they operated, a good example being "Riding Officer" about an early branch of what would become customs and excise.

Wendy also turns her guns on the ongoing slavery of the 21st century, people trafficking, mainly for the sex trades, but in many places to work as field labourers and servants as well. Ironic that Slavery was only officially band in Britain during this century.

The album has a very traditional feel, one that stylewise fits in more with the transatlantic songbook and indeed some of the traditional songs covered have done the two way journey across the pond., with others taking on what sounds like a more Scottish air.

Gerry McNeice gets to do the behind desk work as well as playing on the album, on which other notable guests include Sarah McQuaid, Will Pound, PJ Wright and the very much in demand Kat Gilmore.

"Life, Love And Chocolate" pretty much covers all the essentials , and does it well. An enjoyable listen that has plenty of variety to keep the interest and to allow for the picking of favourites, though my wife might suggest the words in the title are in reverse order :-)

Neil King

26 Jun 11 - 02:24 PM (#3176785)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: GUEST,Banjiman

fROOTs Review of Life, Love & Chocolate -Impressive 3rd CD from North Yorks based Scot brings a new luxuriousness in texture, though it's intelligently considered backdrop is never allowed to obscure Wendy's own commanding singing voice and her consistently strong writing. Thumbs Up.

30 Aug 11 - 10:03 AM (#3215124)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: Banjiman

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

30 Aug 11 - 06:54 PM (#3215516)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: BanjoRay

Good stuff, Paul!


31 Aug 11 - 07:13 AM (#3215786)
Subject: RE: Wendy Arrowsmith new CD- May 2011
From: stallion

WOW what a review