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DIANA JONES - Song To A Refugee 

DIANA JONES - Song To A Refugee 
Proper PRPCD157 

This is the sixth solo album from widely acclaimed US singer songwriter Diana Jones. Regarded in the past for giving voice to historically dispossessed people, this album takes its theme from stories of suffering and injustice in more recent times. Diana states that her own need to “re-humanise the people who were being de-humanised by governments and the press” resulted in a flood of songs.

Thirteen songs in total make this an intensely emotional listening experience as many of the tracks (El Chapparall, I Wait For You, Santiago, The Life I Left Behind and Where We Are) depict moving first-hand personal accounts of refugees’ journeys and their treatment by the authorities. The musical arrangements, produced by multi-instrumentalist David Mansfield, present a simple uncluttered yet sympathetic acoustic instrumental setting for the moving vocal imagery. Of the more observational tracks, Song For A Refugee and Ask A Woman again bring Diana’s Appalachian tinged voice to the fore. We Believe You is a powerful testimonial where guest singers Steve Earle, Richard Thompson and Peggy Seeger each sing a verse and join Diana in the linking choruses. Three other tracks (Love Song To A Bird, The Sea Is My Mother and The Last Words) conjure up more poetic images of human loss and suffering, accentuating Diana’s visionary songwriting.

This album is a unique and artful song cycle from a wonderful singer for the times we live in, giving voice to the unheard with passion and sensitivity.

Gerry Jones


This review appeared in Issue 136 of The Living Tradition magazine