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BARBARA DICKSON - Words Unspoken

BARBARA DICKSON - Words Unspoken
Greentrax CDTRAX353

This album further reinforces my gut instinct that BD has found herself in a happy place by returning to her roots. Her vocal delivery is confidant and relaxed, her choice of musicians and particularly the producer (Troy Donockley) are excellent again, and the material chosen wisely. The high points for me are her new reading of Jamie Raeburn and Kishmul’s Galley both of which have been handled with kid gloves by the ensemble. She also gives us the evidence that she is one of only a handful of artistes on the planet that can pull off a retelling of Bridge Over Troubled Water with consummate aplomb (and this is with just one voice and guitar - stunning). Her version of the usually unaccompanied Personent Hodie with instrumental backing is yet to win me around, but give me time – I’m getting old and stuck my ways.

Much of the credit must go to Troy D, who plays a multitude of instruments, but most significantly the uilleann pipes, which legitimizes the feel of the project in some way when they are introduced.  If this assembly of musicians is also the touring band (and by all accounts Troy is definitely at the helm) then they’re worth trying to catch live on this showing.

The opening song, a co-write between Dickson and Donockley, The Magical West, is a perfect bookend to match the aforementioned Paul Simon song at the tail end. Hats off to Ms D.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 88 of The Living Tradition magazine.