Diana Jones has a fine voice and a keen instinct for a good tune. Her new album, recorded with two sympathetic fellow musicians, Shad Cobb and Matt Combs, in Peter's Cabin at The Museum Of Appalachia, delivers eleven songs which reflect the craft she has been quietly honing over her past four splendid releases. This is honest, stripped- down songwriting of the finest caliber. There's really nothing which could be either added or taken away which might make it more perfect than it is. Some might think that having a log fire crackling away in the hearth is a bit of a hokey idea but for me it adds another layer of charm and authenticity to the project. It serves to further warm our hearts.
Ms Jones' voice is a distinctive instrument; a tad hollow and dry in tone but utterly unaffected. With songs such as these there is no room at all for fussy decoration and she certainly doesn't need any added reverb to cover up the cracks like so many performers these days! It's a pure and beautiful thing. She captures the spirit of Appalachia with joyful aplomb.
From the restrained call for forgiveness of opening number 'O Sinner'; the subtle mixture of humour and pathos in the lyrics of 'Drunkard's Daughter'; through the delightful vocal harmonies filling up the gently bouncing arrangement of 'Orphan's Home' and the sublime final acapella duet 'The Other Side', the world she creates is never less than totally believable.
An album to save up for long, dark Winter evenings.
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