Review Archive

'Braeburn’ by Kathy Barwick - beautiful piece of American music

(July 18, 2014)

Kathy Barwick has long-served as a stalwart of American roots music, her musical pedigree Kathy Barwick_Braeburn_Covertakes in a consummate level of skill as a multi-instrumentalist singer songwriter with a genre-bounding repertoire that includes bands such as Nine-8ths Irish and The Mike Justis Band and as a duo with Pete Siegfried. Her instrument catalogue includes banjo, dobro, guitar, bass and mandolin and through her 30-year career she has played folk, bluegrass, blues, country blues and Irish music.

A few years ago she released her solo album ‘In My Life’ to wide acclaim, now here comes the latest album ’Braeburn’. A beautiful piece of American roots music, and just one more reason to wonder why this outstanding artist is not more widely known outside her native land.

'Braeburn' is a comprehensive voyage through Kathy’s influences - the Irish lilt of ‘Caribou’, Mother’s Delight/The Torn Jacket’ and ‘Calliope House’, the old-time memories of ‘Sweet Sunny South’ and ‘Little Rabbit’, the mournful folk essence of ‘Childhood Memories’ and ‘Southern Railroad’. Each song is perfectly-placed to lead the listener through the album, switching tracks to experience the breadth of this lady’s repertoire. The composer in Kathy comes through in two glorious banjo-led tunes – ‘The Cantara Loop’ and ‘Braeburn’ – both brimming with life and energy. And of course there’s the delight that is ‘Down By The Sally Gardens/ Down In The Willow Garden’.

 Alongside Kathy, guesting on ‘Braeburn’ is an enviable list of talent including Pete Siegfried, Allan Fuller, Suzanne Thomas, Stan Miller, Linda Relph, Samantha Olson, Steve McLane, Craig Long, John Reischman and Greg Spatz.

Reviewer: Tom Franks

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