The glow of autumnal reflections
This is the follow-up to Judy Dyble’s very successful 2009 album Talking With Strangers, and it extends her writing collaboration with Alistair Murphy, who once again sets Dyble’s lyrics to ethereal melodies that gently support but never dominate.
Many see Dyble as having a quintessentially English voice that evokes some of our best folk traditions. The opening track, Black Dog Dreams, immediately sets us in a backdrop of rural legends, and begins the musical journey for a collection of songs that float through lyrical landscapes and draw upon the mature reflections of time having passed. Featherdancing recalls sisterly games in a carefree childhood, Beautiful Child captures the fulfillment of being a grandparent, and Drift Away anticipates the inevitability of life’s ending. Several tracks benefit from delicate string arrangements, while the understated guitar work on Letters will take longterm fans back to parts of the first Fairport recording, where Dyble began.
She saves a surprise for the last track: the nearly 12-minute Sisterhood Of Ruralists, which somehow manages to bring together all the themes into a dreamlike but cohesive swirl of images complemented by the album’s effective artwork.
RECORD COLLECTOR OCTOBER 2013
Reviewed by Kingsley Abbott