FolkWords Reviews

‘The Fruited Thorn’ - Kaela Rowan - simmering power of emotion

(June 12, 2016)

Listening to Kaela Rowan is cathartic, stimulating and inspirational. The beauty of her voice, tremulous yet The Fruited Thornpresence-packed, an edge of original delivery and a simmering power of emotion offer a promise ... once heard never forgotten. Now comes her new album ‘The Fruited Thorn’, the follow up to the exceptional ‘Menagerie’ ... this time wrought through a selection of haunting ballads soaked with the widest influences and inspiration.

There’s the richness of Robert Burns’ ‘Now Westlin’ Winds’ setting the gentle mellowness of autumn against the murderous ‘slaughterin guns’ ... and it’s perfectly delivered. There’s a haunting tale of love and deceit, ‘Lord Gregory’ with lingering pipes adding ambiance, a mythic narrative with ‘Nighean Nan Geug’, unrestrained beauty of ‘As I Roved Out’ and the caress of sorrow within ‘Blackbird (What A Voice)’. Each ballad tells a story, each time you’re there with the protagonists, each time Kaela’s voice takes you and holds you.

The album features The Kaela Rowan Band – Kaela Rowan (vocals, guitar, whistles) James Mackintosh (percussion, guitars, keyboards, programming, vocals) and Ewan Macpherson (guitars, mandolin, jaw harp) with guests on selected tracks Dave Milligan (piano) Dayam Khan Manganiyar (vocals) Ewen Vernal (bass) Griogar Labhruidh (small pipes, whistles) Patsy Reid (fiddle, viola, cello) Jarlath Henderson Uillean pipes, vocals, whistles) and John McCusker (fiddle, harmonium).

‘The Fruited Thorn’ releases on 5th August 2016 - find Kaela Rowan here: www.kaelarowan.net

Review: Tim Carroll

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