The Magnificent Countess returns – yes, our new found friend Judy Dyble has returned to recording after what seems like a hundred year respite, and a sleeping beauty nap in between.
The first lady of the famous Folk / Rock band called Fairport Convention has awoken from her dream induced 1960’s slumber. She’s not only a 1960’s survivor but also a talented artist as well, and the passage of time hasn’t diminished her creativity one iota, in fact, she’s just as fresh and vibrant as ever.
The men of Fairport still remain in contact with the Countess, as they always have a healthy friendship and a never-ending respect for their colleague.
Judy has children and dogs and a beautiful calming / charming voice – and between these three thing, she has passed the years in a self-imposed solitude. Occasionally, she has returned to the concert platform for the Fairport gigs and other special related events.
To know where she’s been and the rest of her personal travels you’ll have to ask her in person or by email – which by the way, she’s excellent at replying to her friends and fans email request.
Her first new solo effort (now a bit older) is entitled “The Enchanted Garden” of which I’ve heard bits and pieces of and a future review of it will follow this one – in 2007.
Here’s my approach to our friend Judy:
I had to go out and purchase Fairport Convention’s first album and the only one with Judy included. I gave it a good listen, picked out the tracks that I liked best and ran it through a few more times. That was my introduction to miss Dyble. I also found that she’s the queen of melody and harmony, and that’s exactly where she likes to reside.
As an offbeat example and using a trucker’s analogy I offer the following:
When a person in an auto wants to become inconspicuous from the prying eyes of the police and their radar gun, for example, they go into what’s called “The Rocking Chair” which means, the auto gets between two tractor trailers in the right lane, and then a third one comes in the left lane in order to protect the auto from view. This is how I see Judy’s approach in a band, to lay low, to do her contribution and to not attract any unwanted attention to herself. This in turn, makes her that much more powerful and you find yourself compelled to pay attention to her every phrase. Her style is introverted, retrospective meditative, intellectual and emotional. Poetry in lyric, emotional in vocal tone and delivery, and overall she’s a creator of vision and myth. Judy has created a place where she’s safe, comfortable and secure…. and she invites you in for tea and a visit between friends.
With dogs by the open hearth fireplace and with its warm glow as the setting sun is reflected in the glass of her antique windows. There’s deep wisdom in her words, within her eyes is a childlike innocence, and her endless smile is the proof of contentedness and peace.
To me, this cd is in the realm of new age music. Rhythm words and Imagines – Trance like and invoking scenes and visions in lost lands and continents of discovery. Enya comes to mind in this aspect with her Orinoco Blue. In Judy’s music I see Rain forest, Feathered Indians with their loving Squaws, in naked apparel, sitting by a lake watching the full moon for signs / directions. The tribe comes into view, drum beats of the heart, water way passages for canoe and secret meetings in caves of shelter. Misty morning azure, creation and spiritual leanings. Have you seen the “Dead Poets Society” I ask you? Breaking rules for discovery. Magellan, Cortez, Columbus and before them the painted sails of the Antediluvian culture heading for the arid sands of Egypt on fragile rafts – beating the odds of failure, with the promise of paradise. And going back even further we find a primal air of the serene, with the tranquil breath of the souls in unrecorded voyages of the faithful fanciers of fame and fortune.
From Fairport Convention to this second solo effort, Judy has created a soundtrack for the human spirit / soul. Birth starts the life process / death brings it full circle. Judy insists on the ancient echoes and progressive images that form the tapestry of reality through illusion.
Listen to the echoes and the whispers through the reeds – can you hear the Syd Barrett influence I ask you? Can you hear them building the Pyramids and Stonehenge? The work is singing, the rhythm is constant, the results immortal. It’s the music that reveals the links, within the passages of time. On The Road To Somewhere Judy sings, talking to the wind – alone. What does Stonehenge say to us when we stand on Salisbury Plain? The wind says it all – as Dylan’s answers are blowing in the wind. Somewhere most of us have been, the 1960’s are a lifetime away, and this cd rekindles those memories that have been misplaced or apparently escaped capture. New Age Music meets Flower Power – more succinctly The Power of Love Returns – and with the power of soul anything is possible – says Hendrix in his band of Gypsy’s. This is the fertile soil in which Judy derives her passion, vision, hope and subtle grace.
Temples are the links, love is the answer – spirit – discovery – learning – practicing – teaching by example / not by rote – meditation – dream sequence – sleep my darling and awake refreshed love. Pray and dream, to remember and forget and come full circle.
In the darkest night there is hope, in the cold dawn there is reward and redemption. Compassion, and Benevolence Rule the Hours for the believers.
Countess Judith is spinning webs of hope for humanity – and individual promise of peace within us all….not a bad way to spend an evening!
Review by: Dave and Brigitte