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A good introduction to the pre-Voice UK career of Sally Barker
on 27 April 2014
If anyone watched her blind audition on the Voice, you will know that Sally Barker has already had a career in music .. and with some success. This compilation takes selection from the material she recorded in the early nineties.
Most of it is very good - "Another Train", "Sleepy Eyes" and "Elephants" are excellent tracks, as is "While You Sleep", "Moses" and "We Built Fires". However, perhaps my favourite track is "Alexis Korner (Still Sings the Blues in Heaven)", a wonderful bit of blues (what else). Sally's voice is unmistakeably hers and a lot of the tracks are her own compositions. "Alexis Korner" is just a wonderful exhibition of how to sing with the kind of growl and without the screeching which some singers think they need to let everyone know they can sing. Most fail, but Sally succeeds beautifully.
There are a couple of tracks I do not like - "Nocturnal Visions" and "Die Sorge" do nothing for me and her version of Genesis's "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" is a mistake - she should have left that alone.
Having said all that, not only does she sing well, but her guitar playing is brilliant and her backing musicians are excellent, too.
Sally was also a founder member of the all-female folk/pop band, the Poozies, in which Kate Rusby also had a stint as singer. I love Kate, but think Sally was a better singer for the band - and the Poozies retrospective "Raise Your Head" is a very good companion album to buy with this.
So, just to recap - this is not an introduction to the Sally Barker we saw and loved on the Voice, but a snapshot of her previous career as described. Don't be misled into thinking "Dear Darling" is going to be on this - it isn't. I, along with a lot of other people, will wait in case Sally records a new album with that and other new tracks on it. Until then, this will do nicely.