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REAL TIME "Real Time" Big Sky 106

This is the debut album of a new trio formed in early 2002. Real Time comprise Judy Dinning (ex Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies) on lead vocals, guitar and bohran, Kenny Speirs (ex John Wright Band) on guitar and newcomer Joe Wright on mandolin and fiddle. The album is an excellent mix of mainly contemporary songs but some traditional ones also. What is such a pleasant surprise is the excellent songwriting skills of Judy, previously regarded as a fine singer but not known for writing her own material. She is responsible for half the songs in the album. Many of her songs are about relationships and her stunning voice captures the feelings and mood of the lyrics. The self-penned songs that appealed particularly to me were "Best Kept Secret" about secrets and 'The Leaving", a poignant tale of parting. To complement Judy's self-penned songs is some classic traditional and contemporary material. These include the beautiful traditional ballad 'The snow it melts the soonest", Dougie McLean's popular 'Turning Away' and the wonderful Lal Waterson song 'Fine Horseman'. Musicianship is excellent throughout. What a find is new boy Joe Wright! Only 21 and with a mere five years of playing fiddle, he has the style and expertise of a more mature practitioner. Such prowess is evident particularly on the instrumental tracks. I was disappointed that Kenny takes lead vocals on only one track, Richard Thomson's 'When I get to the Border'. His voice deserves a lead role more often. Overall an excellent album for a new trio who already have a busy touring schedule.

Dave Dewar

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This album was reviewed in Issue 50 of The Living Tradition magazine.