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Maureen Jelks - "Eence Upon a Time" - LTCD1004

The first thing that strikes me on my first hearing of Maureen Jelks is the clear unforced quality of her voice. She has a "crystal clear" sound, but it's not the arty, quasi-operatic quality that oftentimes gains that description, no indeed. Maureen has an honest and natural tone that is a delight to listen to.

The next thing that I note is her ability to get inside every song that she sings, no matter what its subject matter. In my opinion, the best singers are those who tell the story, who bring out the drama, irony, wit or poignancy of a song through their own understanding of it. Maureen is one of these singers. Fittingly for the Tradition Bearer's series Maureen sings a mostly traditional song programme here, but the non-trads are well chosen. 'Ehm a Dundee Lassie' by Mary Brooksbank and Sheena Wellington's spirited 'Wimmen o' Dundee' fir right in with 'Blackwaterside', 'Fair Rosie Ann' and my favourite track 'Donal Ogg' - a beautifully sung tour-de-force.

In a sleeve note Sheena Wellington writes that Maureen "never sings a song that does not mean something personal and profound to her". One listen to this grand album will convince any listener of the truth of that statement. A fine addition to the Tradition Bearer Series.

Roy Harris

To Hear Some Sample Tracks Click Here (Needs Real Player)

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This album was reviewed in Issue 43 of The Living Tradition magazine.