‘Leaf an’ Thorn’ from Barbara Dymock - offers all that heritage demands

(August 12, 2016)

The Scottish singing tradition is a rare and precious treasure that should be preserved and those singers that uphold its beauty Leaf an Thorn album coverdeserve the widest of audiences. Richness of narrative, assessment of history, continuance of culture, coupled with vibrant innovation ... ‘Leaf an’ Thorn’ the second album from Scottish singer Barbara Dymock offers all that heritage demands. However, think not that this is nothing more than dry-as-dust repetition of ‘old songs’ these are living, breathing songs delivered in a style that captures and holds. Collaborating with multi-instrumentalist Christopher Marra save one unaccompanied track, Barbara’s powerful and fervent vocals breathe life into every word across 13 songs stemming from a selection of sources. 

From the Child Ballads ‘Wife of Ushers Well’ and ‘The Earl of Errol’, the songs of Robert Burns ‘Auld Man’ and ‘Tibbie Fowler’, through original arrangements of ‘Katy Cruel’ and ‘The Banks of Inverurie’, to the works of poet Violet Jacob with ‘The Heid Horseman’ and ‘The Brig’ the flow of legacy pours through this album.

‘Leaf an’ Thorn’ is a must-hear for those for whom ‘living tradition’ is a treasured concept.

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Review: Tim Carroll

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