‘Dry Stone Walls’ by Iona Lane "... destined for success"

(December 22, 2015)

One of the most rewarding aspects of this profession is hearing new music from new artists that simply makes you sit up and pay attention. That’s when hearing transforms and becomes listening. The voice, the music, the lyrics, the melodies … whatever forges the hooks, transcend the ordinary and become outstanding. That’s precisely what happened with ‘Dry Stone Walls’ by Iona Lane. Within seconds I dry stone walls iona lanewas captured by the voice … distinctive, alluring, honest … and above all original. Then comes the musical splendour … sparse yet as full as needed to allow the lyrics to express themselves.

For those of you that haven’t yet come across her talent (and if there is any justice in this world you’re going to) Iona Lane is a singer, songwriter and guitarist from North West England and ‘Dry Stone Walls’ is her debut EP. The strength of the opener, ‘Brown Eyes’ is intense, creating a deep physical attraction, ‘Plane To Spain’ continues with its softly crafted message, before the sensual, saxophone-accented ‘Seasons’ kicks in. With the title track ‘Dry Stone Walls’ the vocals reach out to place the artist right next to you, the same occurs with ‘Orkney’ through the intimacy of that distinctive voice. For good measure the EP includes one track not penned by Iona, an affecting rendition of Turlough O’Carolan’s ‘Si Bheag Si Mhor’ before closing with the open narrative of ‘Here We Go Again’.

From time to time I’m given to suggesting new artists that will develop considerable talent, occasionally I’ve been told I’m taking something of a risk. No fear of that here. Watch out for this lady, she is destined for success.

Musicians on ‘Dry Stone Walls’ include Iona Lane (vocals, guitar, mandolin, slide guitar) Bess Shooter (flute, tenor saxophone) Dave Shooter (bass) Joel Shooter (drums) Abi Plowman (violin) and Paul Swannell (piano). 

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Review: Tim Carroll

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