Link to Living Tradition Homepage





NORAH RENDELL - Spinning Yarns

NORAH RENDELL - Spinning Yarns
Two Tap Music TTM016

Canadian native Norah Rendell came to prominence as the original vocalist with The Outside Track. Indeed, the band itself formed in my old alma mater of University of Limerick during the tail end of the 2000s. Nora and I crossed paths many times in The Stables in UL, also in the late lamented Java’s in Limerick’s Little Catherine Street - the ultimate bo-ho student run coffee shop with décor straight out of Friends. Anyway, enough nostalgia, this is just to contextualise and establish familiarity. With that in mind, I approached her debut solo album Spinning Yarns with some degree of interest. It’s a collection of songs gathered from the rich singing cultures that were once part of the social fabric of communities across Canada, and most of them come from singers of English, Irish and Scottish descent.

Discovering an open door to repertoire among Vancouver’s Irish community, she immersed herself in the stories and social history surrounding the songs and that curiosity permeates the essence of Spinning Yarns. Indeed, the total approach is one of subtlety, from the choice of material and its execution both vocally and instrumentally. The material is drawn from Canadian singers of Irish and Scottish descent and their local variants. Lettie Lee recalls the Irish Sheila Nee Iyer and Cailin Rua, while The Sailor’s Bride and The Carrion Crow recall their English and Scottish sources. Vocally, Nora Rendell’s singing is clear, understated and technically faultless and the backing is sparse, subtle and effective with guest slots from Daithi Sproule and Nora’s ex Outside Track companion, Ailie Robertson.

In short, this is a collection of quality material that has survived time and history and deserves handing on to new ears and generations. Nora Rendell can be proud of Spinning Yarns.

John O’Regan

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 109 of The Living Tradition magazine.