FolkWords Reviews

‘Songs Of Robert Burns' by Robyn Stapleton – a voice to touch an audience

(December 28, 2016)

This quite simply your opportunity to listen to beauty. There’s essential simplicity here. Nothing too much, nothing missing. Softly powerful instrumentation. Passionate phrasing and true presence. With her sparklingly clear Robyn Stapleton Songs of Robert Burnsvoice, Robyn Stapleton creates, through the words of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national bard, the album ‘Songs of Robert Burns’. There’s no doubt that this is a collection of songs that ‘touch the soul’. Burns could take so many aspects of emotion and reflect their reach ... the joyous, the sorrowful, the longing or the harrowing ... elements of the human condition that with a few succinct words made statements that reach us all. Robyn Stapleton possesses a voice that has a similar quality whenever she sings ... songs of joy, sadness, yearning or torment ... without fail she has the ability to touch her audience.

The combination of Burns’ words and Robyn Stapleton’s voice verges on the spiritual ... from the expectation in ‘Comin’ Through The Rye’ through the celebration and condemnation of ‘Westlin’ Winds’ to the enduring love of ‘Ae Fond Kiss’ ... the finest of expression and interpretive articulation is clear and unmistakable. There’s the powerful denouncement of ‘The Slave’s Lament’, a loving rendition of the well-known ‘My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose’ and the resigned indictment of ‘Parcel O’ Rogues’ ... from start to finish, Robyn Stapleton’s voice reflects flawless perfection.

Playing on ‘Songs of Robert Burns’ are Robyn Stapleton (vocals) with Signy Jacobsdottir (percussion) and Alastair Iain Patterson (piano, harmonium) and featuring on selected tracks Patsy Reid (fiddle) Innes White (guitar) Aaron Jones (bouzouki) Claire Mann (flute) Ryan Mackenzie (piano) and Jenna Reid (fiddle). The String Quartet is Patsy Reid (violin) Seonaid Aitken (violin) Christine Anderson (viola) and Alice Allen (cello).

Website: www.robynstapleton.com

Review: Tim Carroll

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