‘In the Shadow of a Small Mountain’ - Sally Barker and Vicki Genfan - overflowing with presence and meaning

(August 28, 2017)

Sometimes, admittedly not often, it’s a struggle to convert into words the singularly blissful reaction an album can produce. To express the sheer delight words sometimes become inadequate. That’s what happened listening to ‘In the Shadow of a Small Mountain’ from In The Shadow of a Small Mountain 001Sally Barker and Vicki Genfan. Neither artist needs any introduction, their musical pedigrees are well-known, their voices and styles instantly recognisable ... add them together, and when you do something special manifests itself.

The songs on ‘In the Shadow of a Small Mountain’ overflow with presence and meaning. The album is a collection of nine original songs beautifully delivered, that reach out and wholly take you with them on their journeys. The opening tribute to Sandy Denny, ‘Hope, Songs, Dreams’ with its gentle recollections and stunning vocals brings on the magic, from there an endearing ‘Holding On’, the sultry ‘Feels Like Flying’ and embracing ‘Heart Needs A Home’ continue the experience. From first to last this is an album of gorgeousness that simply gets better track-on-track, ‘Something Blue’ offers its bluesy and potent message, ‘Malaya’ in turn casts a hypnotic spell, while ‘Weekday Heartbreak’ makes an undeniable statement.

Does it sound as though I’m recommending this album? I certainly hope so.

Playing on ‘In the Shadow of a Small Mountain’ are Sally Barker (vocals, guitar) Vicki Genfan (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, 6-string manditar, 6-string banjotar, bass, percussion) with Peter Mawanga (vocals, nsani, chisekese on ‘Malaya’) Andrew Finn Magill (vocals, low whistle on ‘Malaya’) and John Mettam (drums on ‘Something Blue’)

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Review: Tim Carroll

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