Since Judy Dyble returned to the public, it finally is with this album where she managed to find a total and perfect balance for all the elements that she desires to express and where she is also is capable to give them a perfect musical vision thanks to all the people involved in the making. Her songs are pretty mature and evolved, which will take a while for the listener to grab the picture of the whole magic, poetry or life story associations around it. Every track in the booklet was also associated with a photograph or a beautiful painting. The album art is provided by Jackie Morris and Catherine Hyde who also participated in the song “Sisterhood of Ruralists”, a track that received no less than four paintings to illustrate that. Except for the interesting stories behind the songs, that are thought and created in an English fashion, even imaginings and discoveries in personal lives can be visualised into the folk traditions to a level where their stories surpasses the individual character and tend to transcend to meet its communal value. Its music remains to have roots in folk-rock while I cannot give it a particular style definition.
The first track is like electric folk-rock, as a powerful starter, with a well produced voice sound, rocky guitars, and somewhat symphonic prog arrangements on guitars/piano. The second track has a very classically inspired orchestration with strings and flutes. Even the song has something of a classical element in it. This is followed by a more sad song, in which Judy’s voice comes out very well with a strong emotional character. This is accompanied by piano and some orchestration. More life stories will follow after this, always convincing in its balance of voice, arrangement, the elements of classical music and a folk-rock flavour. Some tracks are a bit rockier again, but in a gentle way of expression. One of the tracks features also several additional singers. The last track reveals the most amounts of instruments. I can also hear an accordion in it. This track concludes the album majestically with grand piano and strings.
The strings are performed by Steve Bingham (violin), Brenda Stewart (viola), Lucy Mitchell (cello) and Phil Toms on double bass. The string arrangements were done by Phil Toms, who is part of the string quartet. (He’s also a lecturer in Essex at the Colchester Institute). Alistair Murphy (known from The Curator) played the piano and is also featured on dulcimer; she has produced the album and has co-written some songs. The drums were played by Pat Mastelotto (of King Crimson and Mr Mister). Other contributors are Julianne Regan (All about Eve), Matt Malley (Counting Crows) and Mike Mooney (Spiritualised).
Psychedelic Folk August 2013