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JACKIE OATES - Jackie Oates

JACKIE OATES - Jackie Oates
Hands on Music HMCD25

'Jackie Oates’ album, her first I think, is available on the Hands on Music label, which the more astute readers will know is Show of Hands’ label.  Phil Beer has had quite an input into Jackie’s album, playing on a couple of tracks but, more importantly, recording and producing it.  And much of the identity and feel is down to him.

But it would be unfair to ignore Jackie in this.  She has surrounded herself with quality musicians - not least Ed Rennie who deserves special mention-but unlike many so-called solo albums, they are used sparingly.  Jackie plays a 5 string viola mostly to accompany her voice.  This album is full of death, unwanted pregnancies and ghostly happenings.  I am not going to list my favourite tracks but will draw your attention to two.  Firstly, ”The Cruel Ship’s Carpenter” is a great ballad learnt from the singing of Mike Waterson.  Isn’t it wonderful that young people are getting inspiration from the likes of the Watersons?  But it is not surprising because she has followed the route taken by many of the current crop of youngsters of attending, at an early age, festivals with her parents.

Secondly a mention of “Lord Abore and Mary Flynn”.  This is an Irish version of a Child Ballad learnt by Jackie in Exeter.  As a father of two children I have not always agreed with their choice of partners but even I think what the mother does in this song is a bit drastic!

Overall it is Jackie’s crystal clear vocals, which make this album worth a listen or two.  I think she is gigging at the moment but you can also catch her as part of the Winterset.

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 72 of The Living Tradition magazine.