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WENDY WEATHERBY A Shirt of Silk or Snow

A Shirt of Silk or Snow
Fellside FECD230

Imagine the scene: One of those hot early summer days where the clouds pass fleetingly across the endless blue sky; a deckchair in the shade of the willow tree; a glass of something red; a reviewer –eyes closed- listening to a special CD on his i-pod.

Thoughts of changing governments, the world cup and work are far from his mind. A special time as Wendy Weatherby creates music for that summer day. This reviewer is under the spell of her cello and voice ably supported by Stevie Lawrence (bouzouki etc), Pete Clark (fiddle and viola), Bruce Adams (trumpet) and James Ross on piano. Linda Adams also provides a few other instruments including a nice bit of banjo. It’s all excellently produced by Paul Adams and Wendy, and has the sort of clarity of sound others could well take note of.
A Shirt of Silk or Snow consists of mostly songs, many of which have good strong story lines, some are reworkings of standards. Some are traditional, others like Alan Reid’s The Riccarton Tollman’s Daughter feel as if they should be. There are Child ballads including Alison Gross which is about as far removed from Steeleye Span’s folk rock version as is possible.

Of the instrumentals the piece written for the Celtic Connections festival in 2004, on which the cello is allowed to shine, makes the hairs on my back stand up. The piece is called Stratus which seems relevant as the clouds over my garden seem to be getting a bit darker.

Wendy’s CD finishes with Robert Tannahill’s I’ll Lay Me On The Wint’ry Lea - surely the clouds can’t be bringing snow!  All good things come to an end but there is always the repeat button - even if sunny days are a bit rare!

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 85 of The Living Tradition magazine.