Review Archive

‘To Each and Everyone – the songs of Gerry Rafferty’ from Barbara Dickson

(August 15, 2013)

There’s no doubting the compelling presence and prodigious talent of Barbara Dickson – renowned Barbara Dicksonrecording artist, wide-ranging theatre and television recognition, Olivier award winner and owner of an exceptional voice. Now Barbara has brought her skills to a new project, an album of Gerry Rafferty’s songs. It’s called ‘To Each and Everyone – the songs of Gerry Rafferty’ – and if you ever mourned this lady departing the folk world for wider musical shores then this is what you’ve been waiting for all these years.

Adding a touch of folk essence to Rafferty’s songs has resulted in album that not only does exceptional justice to the man’s songwriting talent, it allows you to hear the pure warmth of a glorious voice adding its magic to take the songs to another level. Barbara imbues a personal edge to the songs, the late Rafferty being a close friend, there’s also a stripped-back feel, subtle melodies enhanced with softly emotive vocals.

The classic ‘Baker Street’ opens proceedings and immediately Barbara has you seduced into her reverence for a unique talent.The unadorned combination of voice and harmonium gives ‘Where I Belong’ a simple yet powerful prayer-like quality, while the piano-led ‘Family Tree’ steadily builds into a sumptuous song with a desperately moving message. Listening to this album may prompt a tear for the loss of Rafferty but it will also immerse you in a voice with a touch that’s both precise and delicate. Listen to the tough narrative of ‘Steamboat Row’ or the delight that is ‘Mary Skeffington’ and you’re hearing vocals that could move the hardest of hearts. And as for the title track ‘To Each and Everyone of You’ – it's one of those rare moments when every element works so well you find yourself totally immersed in what you’re hearing.

‘To Each and Everyone – the songs of Gerry Rafferty’ is without doubt the singular most beautiful collection of songs I’ve heard all year. Lovers of Rafferty’s perceptive songwriting will adore this album. Lovers of Barbara’s soul-touching voice will experience the same emotion. The album is released on Greentrax Recordings and is available ahead of Barbara's latest UK tour in October 2013.

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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