Review Archive

‘In My Life’ from Kathy Barwick

(November 12, 2011)

It’s all in the blend - a diverse mix of Americana, bluegrass and Irish folk, consummate skill, anKathy Barwick accomplished multi-instrumentalist, and 30-plus years ‘living’ in music. Result - the debut solo album ‘In My Life’ from Kathy Barwick. And the blend is just right.

There’s incisive strings and piquant percussion in ‘Nashville Blues’, the mellow comfort of ‘Josefin’s Waltz’ and the bluesy energy in ‘Poll Ha’Penny’. Capture the essence of ‘Chief O’Neill’s Favourite/ Cuckoo’s Nest’ then add a new edge with the interplay between Kathy’s work on the rhythm and Linda Relph’s deft touch on the fiddle, and for a fine delivery of traditional Irish tunes ‘Boys of Ballisodare’ and ‘Star Above’ look no further. The tunes on this album captivate. As for the songs – relish the questioning anguish of ‘Tell Me Why’ and a superb rendition of ‘My Native Home’ with its beautiful vocals. To recall the long-abandoned line in remote North East California, Mike Justis lends exactly the right lead vocal to ‘On The Modoc Line’, and then close with a dazzling version of Lennon and McCartney’s ‘In My Life’ – on reflection perhaps how the original should have sounded. A blend to savour.

Joining Kathy (guitar, banjo and dobro) on various tracks are Mike Justis (lead vocal, guitar, harmonica) Steve McLane and Keith Little (harmony vocals) Samantha Olson (fiddle, harmony vocal) Mary Gibbons (lead vocal, rhythm guitar) John Reischman and Roland White (mandolins) Al Vasquez (percussion) Bo Bowen (whistles) Linda Relph and Bruce Johnson (fiddles).

'In My Life' (FGM-132 FGM Records) is avaialble from Kathy's web site.

Reviewer: Tom Franks

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