|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1.5 cm|
CD Review by Tony Smith
Three tracks on this CD are covers.
Divided by Three open with Tom Waits’, The Briar and the Rose and end with Sinead O’Connor’s, In This Heart.
The other is Kevin Evans’, The Orchard.
The standout tracks are The Orchard and Street Furniture.
All tracks are sung sweetly in gentle arrangements.
Divided by Three are, Phil Emerson on acoustic and lead guitar and vocals, Graeme Hume on acoustic guitar and vocals and Trish Butler on vocals and bass guitar, but the sleeve notes are pretty modest about their accomplishments.
They thank supporting musicians and producers but seem a trifle shy about their own skills and the achievement of this album.
The instrumentalists and singers are, Dave O’Neill on fiddle and mandolin, Craig Dawson on acoustic guitar, Simone Olding on flute, John Jones on percussion, Trevor Dunham on bass guitar and Sandy Gibbney on fiddle.
Peter Richens is thanked for vocals and production.
From the beginning it is clear that this album features clean, bright guitar work, a feature of the introductions to most of the songs.
The other outstanding characteristics are that the trio’s voices are pure and accurate in pitch and that the harmonies are sweet.
The music is reminiscent of some groups which spearheaded the folk revival of the 1960s and 1970s.
In Skylark for example the percussion is redolent of that period.
This seems appropriate given that many of the songs are based in childhood memories and the photographs on the CD sleeve show a very youthful Divided by Three.
Champions has strong fiddle introduction and the ‘minor’ feel provides variety and balance.
The Orchard, by Kevin Evans, is a genuine folk tale about a life tied close to the seasons and soils.
Set in the Comeragh hills around Dungarvon County Waterford, the song could be set anywhere.
This is a great story sung beautifully to a very pretty arrangement by Emerson and Hume.
A constant theme of these songs is the experience – good and bad – of growing up, but particularly about how the world intrudes on our dreaming.
This World describes living in a world of comic book heroes and Dr Who and daydreaming in school – I never really lived in this world.
Sharing Dreams explores a paradox – we dream alone but dream of sharing our dreams.
Into the Light concerns the loss of comforting innocence, destroyed as shadows fall with crushing weight.
But then there is a move back into the light.
Street Furniture is quite poetic – an old man squats on the corner there with a grey coat, a paper bag, grey tangled hair, a lonely drunk, a smelly man was he but through his eyes my own were taught to see.
In This Heart is a Scottish sounding lullaby and is here given a fine accapella treatment which emphasises the harmonious teamwork throughout this album.
4 in stock (can be backordered)