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The second album from Kim Lowings (vocals, mountain dulcimer, piano, guitar) and her Greenwood accompanists is a finely crafted and generally mellow melange of easily accessible material comprising several of her original songs and arrangements of some classic traditional material (Dark Eyed Sailor, The Blacksmith and Bonny Labouring Boy) with a single instrumental and some spoken word.

Seen in woodland imagery, the folk offering is more gently glady grove than darkly fearsome forest, with some generally lightly leaved shading of pop and rock. Central to it all is Kim’s winsomely dulcet voice, entirely appropriately pronounced in the mix, tightly and discreetly backed by Andrew Lowings (guitar, bouzouki), Dave Sutherland (double bass, electric bass) and Tim Rogers (cajon, drum kit, percussion). Anna Margareta Teodorova Oprenova adds some particularly pleasing violin, with an audibly eastern edge in places, and other guests provide some cittern (Leon Gormley), backing vocals (Ange Hardy) and electric guitar (Dave Draper).

Monsoon is a stand out track with its more adventurous atmospheric approach and the echoic qualities of some delightfully tracked harmonies realising more stretching and sophisticated arrangements comfortably within the group’s collective reach. Original song, Willow, with its lyrically anthropomorphic fancy, is a particularly charming catch too. Kim’s pure voice is beautiful and enchanting and always more sylvan sylph storyteller than the demonic arboraceous seductress explored in opening fable The Wood Wife! Comfortably drawing comparisons with celebrated names in the female folk pantheon, yoked to such finely honed and sensitive support the whole evokes a certain sense of significant commercial appeal and potential.

Kevin T. Ward

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This album was reviewed in Issue 111 of The Living Tradition magazine.