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on 17 June 2007
If this doesn't transport you to an altogether more desirable time and place, then you need to take a look at yourself and unwind a little. (Not that the words in many of these songs support what I'm saying). This is hauntingly beautiful stuff that is somehow more natural sounding than many English folk albums at the moment and compares very favouably with that classic of the genre, No Roses by Shirley Collins with The Albion Band.

It may not become a classic but this lady is capable of producing one in the future so I'm saving my 5 star review for that.

If you love English folk music created by artists who so obviously love music making for the sake of the music, buy this with confidence.
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on 3 March 2008
I came across this album quite by accident last year and I'm very glad I did. Jackie Oates has a lovely pure sounding voice and I think her passion for the music really shines through. On some of the tracks she sings partly unaccompanied and carries it off very well. Although there are some good sombre songs on the album they don't have a dreary feel to them.
The haunting Mistletoe Bough is one of the highlights of the album for me, as is Broken Town. The whole album has a simple, natural feel to it and it is a delight to listen to.
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on 21 July 2008
I saw jackie at the Dulverton Folk Festival at the weekend and bought this album. Jackie and her acompaniest james were absolutely fabulous, gentle, honest, utterly talented and delicious!
She sings Traditional English folk with a gentle and honest voice of today not trying to be 'folky' in a way that some younger singers sometimes feel they should be.
I could listen to her all day everyday, she will be very very well known in a matter of not very long!

The wishfullness waltz...ahh, beautiful!
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on 20 July 2008
I saw Jackie at Saul festival last month and she and her support were both excellent. I must say the CD has been a disappointment. She has a nice but not especially distinctive voice, but her range and tuning are questionable on the recording (though not when hearing her live). Perhaps one is more forgiving in a live context (after a beer or two too). Some of the low notes were a step too far for her and should have been transposed. Some of the not particularly high notes had tuning issues; it made me feel on edge particularly as I wanted those listening with me to appreciate her art.
Her fiddle playing is pretty good, but again has tuning concerns. I guess she must have a classical training and tries to hit the note spot on rather than being a bit looser in a fiddle players way. A bit more obvious 'slide'/vibrato in voice and violin would definitely help.
I would have liked some more of the exceptional guitar work I heard from her support artist live. He had a great voice too. I missed harmonies and we could have done with some more variety in the instrumental department... just a little a whistle? no bodrhan/drum, no pipes? It would have broken it up a little as it began to feel a little 'samey'.
If you're reading this Jackie, put more of yourself into it as it sounded a little remote, too much of a performance. You didn't make me believe what you were singing about, nor convinced that you believed it. Don't worry what others think, just go for it and as another reviewer says I think you can produce a really good album in the future... just not this one.
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