Review Archive

‘Workshop’ from Joanna Drummond - pure-as-crystal voice, softly engaging lyrics, seductive melodies

(June 20, 2014)

The website asks: “What happens when an opera singer falls in love with folk music and decides Workshop - Joanna drummondto start over, pick up a guitar and write?” The answer is folk gains - opera loses. Her debut folk album ‘Workshop’ will doubtless shape a reputation among folk music and hopefully inspire Joanna Drummond to continue writing intimate and simple folk songs that come with an intensity all their own.

A native of Calgary, in the province of Alberta, Canada, Joanna’s musical world revolved around classical music, piano, choirs and opera until a weekend at the Calgary Folk Festival changed everything. Joanna was profoundly touched by a genre that explores, as it has always done, personal stories through narrative heritage and tales of tradition. The expanse of folk’s eclectic and unrestricted world laid itself before her and Joanna responded with an album discovering the influences of mythical narrative, pastoral experiences and personal observation. Within the image-rich ‘Wishing Well’, the symbolism in ‘Workshop’ or the hopeful narrative of ‘The Swallow’ you find songs that call you into her world. The strength of her writing the freshness of its creation, listening to the inspired melody of ‘Oh, Storyteller’, the lovingly crafted lyrics of ‘Playroom’ and the deep understanding sealed in ‘Ashes and Wood’ it is increasingly hard to accept that Joanna is still exploring her art.

A pure-as-crystal voice delivering softly engaging lyrics over quietly seductive melodies, if ‘Workshop’ is the beginning, then there’s much to follow.

Alongside Joanna Drummond (acoustic guitar, piano, vocals) on ‘Workshop’ are Craig Newnes (acoustic guitar, bass, keyboards) Spencer Cheyne (drums, percussion) Will Lynch (accordion) Kathy Cook (mandolin) Andrea case (cello) and Mike Little (Hammond B3 organ).

Reviewer: Dan Holland

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