‘Yarrow Acoustic Sessions’ - Lori Watson – Innovative and imaginative, traditional and contemporary(February 01, 2018)
Haunting, lingering, memorable. Dark, ominous, mysterious. Words of powerful emphasis and extreme expectation ... in this case, the emphasis is on poignant and lasting expression, the expectation most definitely fulfilled. ‘Yarrow Acoustic Sessions’ from Lori Watson is a collection of songs that combine traditional poetry with highly evocative melodies and arrangements that build a journey through a scenescape that explores expressions of life.
It’s a faultless aural passage across myriad narratives from ‘Yarrow (A Charm)’ integrating a poem developed from the tradition by Walter Elliot with a self-penned melody, to the traditional ‘Fause, Fause’ exploring its paths with both voice and instrument mixing a strangely portentous yet sensitive feel, while an expressive arrangement of ‘Fine Floors in the Valley’ hangs on the air like a gentle breeze. Lori’s voice has an echoing, persevering quality to carry an abundance of emotion that engages immediately and then remains. Throughout its travels this album continually touches the listener ... the arrangement of ‘Capernaum’ combining an Ed Miller melody and Lewis Spence poem is a spine tingling experience, as is a majestic take on ‘Flores O the Forest’, before Lori’s vivid version of Robin Williamson’s ‘October Song’.
Innovative and imaginative, traditional and contemporary, ‘Yarrow Acoustic Sessions’ is a breath-taking album. Playing alongside Lori Watson (vocals, fiddle) are Duncan Lyall (keys, harmonium, double bass) with selected tracks featuring Steven Byrnes (guitar, bass drum) and Fiona Black (accordion)
Review: Tim Carroll