Talking with Strangers - Reviewed by Kingsley Abbott

As perfect as a languid English summer’s day

Talking With Strangers Album CoverJudy Dyble’s resurgence over the last few years has seen her working with various musicians towards the album that she was destined to make. With this release, it seems as if all the elements are fully in place: songs, production, arrangements and, perhaps most important, the work’s overall feel.

She’s assembled an almost perfect cast of unobtrusive yet effective supporters, with Simon Nicol’s gentle acoustic on the opener Never Knowing, Ian McDonald’s flute fleshing out Jazzbirds, and Robert Fripp’s guitar and soundscapes on the nearly 20-minute Harpsong. Closin the album, the latter is the point to which the earlier tracks – including a most effective cover of Greg Lake’s C’est La Vie – have been so effortlessly working.

Dyble’s voice is richer, more rounded, and even more English than ever, and she’s well supported in places by Tim Bowness’ gentle vocals, and backed by the “Astral Goddesses Choir” of Celia Humphries, Jacqui McShee and Julianne Regan. This is a splendid album for summer picnics, and will appeal greatly to existing fans, folkies, and Fairporters alike.

Reviewed by Kingsley Abbott