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Having celebrated a decade as one of Scottish music's most distinctively sublime voices, Emily Smith begins a fresh chapter in her illustrious, award-winning, TV-appearing career. For her fifth solo album Echoes, Emily returns to her first love of traditional song. Her gift for finding a personal connection in these passed-down, anon-penned words is still at the heart of her craft. But this is a bold new phase in Emily's music and with it comes what she describes as "a new Scottish sound". Recorded over the space of a year (interrupted by the arrival of a small person) Echoes expands the core group of musicians with whom she's previously played by adding a guestlist of true greats. Joining multi-instrumentalists Jamie McClennan and Matheu Watson, bassist Ross Hamilton and percussionist Signy Jakobsdottir are none other than Jerry Douglas, Aoife O'Donovan, Kris Drever, Tim Edey, Natalie Haas and Rory Butler. Together they've created an album with one foot planted firmly in Emily's home of Dumfries and Galloway and the other in the unspoiled heartland of Nashville. If albums can have feet, that is. Echoes is unshakeably Scottish but with farther, wider horizons. From remembered ballads like the murdery Twa Sisters and the mythical King Orfeo to contemporary but no less timeless songs such as Bill Caddick's gorgeous John O'Dreams and Darrell Scott's The Open Door, Emily's voice eases tired ears and lifts knackered souls with its simple beauty. Time has passed ridiculously fast since Emily was named BBC Radio Scotland's Young Traditional Musician of the Year back in 2002. The accolades continued as she won the USA Songwriting Competition in 2005, Scots Singer of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2008, and she received two nominations in the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. In that time she's toured the world, thrilling audiences from Cambridge Folk Festival all the way down to the National Folk Festival in Australia, via Europe, Russia, Canada and New Zealand. Her face has been all over the telly thanks to BBC Four's Transatlantic Sessions, BBC One's Songs of Praise, Scotland's Hogmanay Live, BBC Ulster's Santer and an exclusive performance for Sky Arts Channel. In 2013 Emily toured as part of the Transatlantic Sessions extended family, singing with the likes of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Eric Bibb and Teddy Thompson - adding to an impressive list of onstage collaborators which also includes Richard Thompson, Eddi Reader and Beth Neilson Chapman. Her albums A Day Like Today, A Different Life, Too Long Away, Traiveller's Joy and 2009's sparkling take on lesser known Robert Burns compositions Adoon Winding Nith (released as a duo with husband Jamie McClennan) established Emily as both an adroit interpreter of old songs and a dazzlingly accomplished crafter of original material. In 2013 Emily released her best-of collection Ten Years (coming up with titles is harder than it looks) marking a journey that's already seen her described by The Guardian as Scotland's "most impressive young songwriter". Blimey.
Top Customer Reviews
She has a band featuring Ross Hamilton on bass, Signy Jakobsdottir on percussion, Matheu Watson (multi instrumentalist) and last but not least, her husband Jamie McClennan. The guest list on this album is superb and adds to the high quality music. The guest list includes Aoife O'Donovan, Jerry Douglas, Tim Edey, Rory Butler, Kris Dreve and Natalie Haas.
I was lucky enough to be sent this as a gift from a relative on the day of release it seems! It arrived early today and already this morning I have listened to it once all the way through - it will be very well played. I am looking forward to future albums!
Would highly recommend this CD
Her best album (In my opinion)
The album has brilliant tracks.
If like me, until a few months ago, I had never heard of Emily.... BUY this one !!
(I've ended up buying all of her albums)
She does sound amazing.
(If you want to buy something else as well, give Julie Fowlis a try... she sings in Gaelic, but don't let that put you off...)
Recommend Cara Dillon (from Northern Ireland) as well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A superb collection of Emily's latest work, including some traditional songs arranged by her, some self-penned and some others by notable writers and some by poets, put to music by... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Spuds
A young Barbara Dixon. Lovely voice, super backing, particularly liked Nathalie Haas on cello. Songs that I've known 60 years. Loved itPublished on 11 Jun. 2014 by Mr John Dickinson
I reckon this is Emily's best album yet. Brilliant production with some stunning contributions from the musicians in the studio.Published on 3 Jun. 2014 by MR W G PIPER
If you loved her earlier albums then this new release will not disappoint. A delight from beginning to end. Wonderful!Published on 21 Mar. 2014 by Sally-Ann Soulsby
A wonderful mix of traditional and new songs on a wide range of themes, each beautifully interpreted and personalised. Read morePublished on 20 Mar. 2014 by RichardS