Link to Living Tradition Homepage





HEDY WEST - From Granmaw And Me

HEDY WEST - From Granmaw And Me
Fledg’ling Records FLED3106

Let me declare an interest at the start of this review: in my longish life I have never encountered a female voice that thrilled me more. Not even Ferrier or Baez. I recall seeing the young Hedy perform live at the Royal Albert Hall back in February 1966, and my jaw was still open two weeks later. And in the years to come, my test of a new girlfriend was to play her Hedy’s recording of Roll On, Weary River, Roll On: and if the girl wasn’t totally enthralled, I figured our relationship was doomed.

But in 25 years reviewing CDs, I’ve never been lucky enough to have a Hedy West album come my way. And thought I never would, after cancer struck, and Hedy left us far too soon in 2005. But this is my lucky day: I’ve been given the honour of reviewing the last project Hedy prepared before her death. It’s been a long time coming, but gosh, how it’s worth the wait...!! Truly a total triumph, with Hedy being ably assisted by the legendary Tracy Schwarz on fiddle/guitar, and with fabulous harmonies from his then wife, Eloise.

Hedy’s grandmother (born 1888), narrates this recording and chose all its songs. Her insightful comments are helpfully transcribed (should you have problems with her accent) in the splendidly legible and erudite liner notes. And one song is pre-eminent: Blockader Mama. I promise you this song will seriously mess with your head and lodge itself firmly in your heart. Extraordinary.

Dai Woosnam

Secure On-line mailorder service
Many CDs we review are available from The Listening Post.
Check to see if this CD is available.

The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 124 of The Living Tradition magazine.