‘Every Lesson in its Turn’ from Red Bird Sk(March 29, 2013)
The ephemeral distinctions between Celtic folk and folk Americana flow, blend and coalesce within the freshness of ‘Every Lesson in its Turn’ from Red Bird Sky. This album reaches for you to ensure you share in the intensity of its songs and the potency of its melodies. There’s a stunning combination here – the voice of Bernie Maguire, engaging and instinctive, coupled with the intricate versatile guitar of Mike Seal.
The album opens with the evocative ‘A Mountain of Me’ mournful narrative lyrics, keening fiddle mixed across lingering melody – a blend that personifies Red Bird Sky. That spirit of purposeful storytelling continues through the achingly poignant truth of ‘Flatlands’, the contemplative necessity of ‘Stories’ and the deeply moving ‘Let The Right One In’. The tender delivery of Bernie’s vocals breathe genuine sincerity into her lyrics to create songs that are consciously moving, profoundly touching and brim-full of warmth. Her voice is equally at home with the more upbeat keyboard accented warning of ‘Where The Wild Things Grow’ the bluesy-edged ‘Every Road I Take’ and the rocking pulse of ‘Moving’ – a tale of moving on in the face ofbigotry; tough lyrics. An album closer can be a weak track, not here, with its fervent sadness ‘At The End of Love’ showcases Bernie’s voice with a gentle lyric across a simple, unadorned melody – a powerful song; there’s a deep breath needed as the last note fades.
On ‘Every Lesson in its Turn’ the songs are written by Bernie Maguire (lead vocals) and Mike Seal (guitars, bass) – also playing on the album are Dan Cutrona (keyboards) Gordie Mackeeman (fiddle) James Phillips (mandolin). TreeTops Records - Treedown04
Reviewer: Tom Franks