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KYLE CAREY - The Art Of Forgetting

KYLE CAREY - The Art Of Forgetting
Riverboat Records TUGCD1109

This is the third full length album from Kyle. It was recorded and produced in Louisiana by multi instrumentalist Dirk Powell, and includes such stellar names as John McCusker and Mike McGoldrick as special guests. As befits an American who lived two years on Skye and studied at the feet of Christine Primrose, it includes two songs in Scottish Gaelic...and a third song with a chorus translated into this same charming language. And although one of the songs is a pure mystery to me, the other song is a translation of the well-known American gospel hymn Down By The River To Pray, a song I know quite well, so I was able to sing the English language original lyric sotto voce – along with Kyle as she sang with her pleasant light soprano – and with the volume on my CD player up high. And at the same time reading the Scots Gaelic lyric from the very well presented liner booklet: incidentally, how nice to see the words so readable (white on a dark green background).

One song from her own pen stands out: Track 6, Sweet Damnation. It is a long time since I heard a more sensual song: one could just imagine it being sung by the sultry Maria Muldaur. Oh and what gorgeous brass accompaniment from Kai Welch on trumpet and Josh Scalf on trombone.

The album seems to be a unique fusion of Gaelic Americana music: a synthesis of the Celtic, Americana and Appalachian traditions. It is not an album I hear every day. Generally I liked it well enough, but was disappointed with her final track, her cover of the achingly sad Nanci Griffith & Rick West song, Trouble In The Fields. Oh, don’t get me wrong: I liked the imaginative musical interpretation with its hoedown ending as a remembrance of good times passed, and the male and female harmonic support vocals were good, but Nanci’s voice had dear Kyle’s vocal chords in its total grip, and what we heard vocally was a nuance-for-nuance copy of the original.

You are too good for that Kyle. Don’t just be imaginative with the arrangement: put your own stamp on that lyric next time.

Dai Woosnam

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This album was reviewed in Issue 123 of The Living Tradition magazine.