‘Beacon’ from Anne Sumner - simply constructed and simply beautiful(March 03, 2018)
With this album, there’s a distinct impression of another time and place, specifically sometime back in the late sixties or perhaps early seventies. This doesn’t imply that it’s 'out of time', more that it’s timeless. The other point that strikes home is the power in the voice, deep and rich for a female vocal yet beguiling, attractive and engaging. The album is ‘Beacon’ and the distinctive voice with its idiosyncratic and intriguing phrasing, belongs to Anne Sumner ... and as albums go, this one will find a special place and stay with you.
The songs are intense, emphatically personal, emotionally strong and deep with meaning ... listen to the opener ‘Behind The Lines’ and the depths are obvious, the same is true of ‘Fire on the Mountain’ and ‘Daughters of Mercy’... expressive in delivery and dramatic in content. ‘Last Summer’ is more upbeat in its exploration of feelings and sensation, before the revealing journeys of ‘Swim Any Sea’ and the honesty of ‘Mile Away’ look at the vagaries of relationships. The instrumentation is simple, gently framing the original songs with enough structure but never too much ... and that’s a fair description of ‘Beacon’ ... everything that should be there and everything in its right place. Simply constructed and simply beautiful.
Playing on ‘Beacon’ are Anne Sumner (vocals, guitar, piano, viola) Vicky Keohane (bodhran) Adrian Keohane (mandolin) Daniel Fitzgibbon (percussion) Maggie Casey (whistles) Gareth Cobb (bass guitar) Chris Hyde-Harrison (double bass) with Russ Watts (drums) and Stephen Nurse (chromatic harmonica).
Review: Tim Carroll