ANNIE GRACE "Take Me Out Drinking Tonight" Greentrax CDTRAX256
Most of you will know Annie as the vocalist out front in Iron Horse. Here, Annie brings together her love of traditional song, blues, 'world' and especially jazz.
Annie has a fabulous flexible voice and her treatment of contemporary songs such as Jim Mulhern;'s Magdalen Laundry are stunning. A swingy version of Cheryl Wheeler's Summerfly, had me grinning inanely at the understated exuberance. Michael Marra's Take Me Out Drinking is perfect in this genteel shuffle.
The traditional song Bonny at Morn stands up to a restrained swing remarkably well and reveals new facets of its character. However, the jazz-tinged, rather mangled Jock O' Hazeldean was a mistake. I'm not however one of Eddie Reader's fans (heresy or what?) so many of you will simply see this as a tired old song being given a new lease of life. I'm sorry to say I really hated it.
So a curate's egg - very good in most places, but with a couple of tracks that really set my teeth on edge. If you are a lover of the folk-jazz genre, this could well be your CD of 2004. On the other hand, if you're a real 'traddie' - it will bring you out in a rash! I'm neither - so my view is less polarized.
1. Trees They Grow High
2. Magdalene Laundry
3. Bonny At Morn
6. Take Me Out Drinking Tonight
7. Land O' The Leal
8. Farewell To Lochaber
9. Jock O' Hazeldean
10. Feast Or Famine
11. Sing Me Something Simple