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SIOBHAN MILLER - All Is Not Forgotten 

SIOBHAN MILLER - All Is Not Forgotten 
Song Print Recordings SPR004CD 

Put simply, this is a beautiful recording, to my mind her best yet with an excellent ensemble of musicians supporting Siobhan’s voice; the paired guitars of Kris Drever and Innes White, Megan Henderson on fiddle, John Lowrie on piano, additional supporting vocals from Kim Carnie, and Euan Burton on bass underpinning it all. It was apparently recorded ‘live’, in that they were all in the same studio playing the songs together.

It opens with the title track, All Is Not Forgotten, a new song that recalls the often simple things that make up our memories of people important to us but perhaps left behind. It also signals the character that the musical arrangements adopt. They are generally full but not crowded, allowing the voices of the individual players to shine through while providing space for individual solos.

May Morning Dew is the first of four traditional songs which sit among those written mainly by other members of the supporting ensemble. They are all in new arrangements which sit well with the contemporary songs to give the album a unified quality.

The pairing of Siobhan’s voice with that of Kris Drever on many of the songs is inspirational, somehow it simultaneously provides additional depth to her voice while enabling it to shine more brightly. This is no more evident than in their take on Selkie, one of my favourite Scottish songs.

Appropriately, the guitar and bass playing of Euan Burton come to the fore in the arrangement of the love song I Won’t Let You Let Me Down that he wrote for Siobhan soon after their marriage. Loving Hannah has the simplest arrangement, with Siobhan’s voice accompanied by two guitars perfectly capturing the pathos of the song.

The final song, Adam McNaughtan’s Cholesterol, a paean to the foods I, for one, love (while ensuring a well-balanced diet of course) and the sort of rollicking sing along song beloved of folk clubs, brings the album to an enjoyable close.

Iain Campbell


This review appeared in Issue 134 of The Living Tradition magazine