8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An invigorating folk album, highly recommended.,
This review is from: Traiveller's Joy (Audio CD)
Such a beautiful album!
This is Emily's fourth solo album and for me it's her best by far. The overall production of the album has me in mind of some of my favourite American roots and bluegrass artists (Alison Krauss).
Emily is more often than not characterised as a Scottish traditional singer, but there is definitely more to her than this. From the strength of this album I would say she is following in the footsteps of the new wave of popular folk south of the border.
The title track, Traiveller's Joy, (the Scots word for Traveller) is lively and punchy, the whistle and percussion setting the groove and perfectly complemented by a soaring fiddle line and of course, sublime vocals from Emily. It really sets the tone for the rest of the album which never fails to delight.
There are so many great tracks on this album, my favourites being Sweet Lover of Mine, a joyous catchy song that I can't help singing along to, with a catchy flute riff and a toe tapping rhythm. Gypsy Davy - a groovy reworking of the well known traditional song, Raggle Taggle Gypsy, Alan Doherty's whistle solos have to be heard to be believed! And Emily's own songs, Take You Home and Butterfly featuring again the virtuoso fiddle playing of Nashville's Stuart Duncan, who I've been a fan of for some years.
It seems a rare coup indeed for Emily to have Stuart on the album, but after seeing them together on Transatlantic Sessions 4 I presume that's where they hit it off.
(for those who don't know, Stuart's won 2 Grammy Awards for Best Bluegrass Album, was the 5 time winner of the Academy of Country Music Fiddle Player of the Year...He's something of a legend among fiddle players.)
It's also great to hear that even the slower songs on the album have an upbeat mood to them. Emily has tackled some hefty Scottish ballads on previous albums (with great aplomb) and it seems with this album she's decided to take a more uplifting and cheery path with her songs, (I know, it's not the usual 'folk singer' way but I for one appreciate it!)
Her own song, Dreams and Lullabies is touchingly introspective and the way the percussion mixes with Emily's own piano playing is gorgeous.
Somewhere Along the Road was a song Emily recorded on BBC Songs of Praise last year and I'm glad to see it included on this album, the song finishes with what can only be described as a whistle/flute ensemble orchestration, absolutely brilliant!
For me, this album has hit the nail on the head, it's thoughtful when it needs to be, funky at times with just the right amount of grit and the more I listen to it, the more I hear.