Ship of Dreams
A mixture of traditional songs and modern folk ballads, this mellow collection is peaceful and elegant. The trio of two women and one man known collectively as DonnaWendyAndy sing with sincerity and sweetness that is a real pleasure to listen to. Ship of Dreams has obviously got the underpinnings of people who know their priorities and appreciate their heritage. Their rootedness in the community that surrounds them comes across clearly in these songs.
In most cases, one of the ensemble sings lead vocals with the others singing back-up, and adding piano, violin, acoustic guitar, drums, etc., according to the mood of the song. The music is tight, professional and doesn't overpower the singers, allowing their voices and the songs to shine.
The voices are clear and melodic, and blend wonderfully together. The group could benefit, however, from a little more spontaneity. Sometimes, as in songs like "The Skye Boat Song" or "Sarah," the version offered here is a bit too prim. This measured and controlled approach does work well with several of the pieces like the traditional hymn "Sweet Hour of Prayer" or Taylor's "The Quilt."
The choice of songs is excellent; the members of the trio obviously know what suits their voices and the sound of the group. I would have liked to be clear who was singing which songs, however.
The songs written by Donna Rhodenizer Taylor are well written and have such a natural connection to Nova Scotia history culture that they could pass for traditional pieces. The jacket design is attractive, and reinforces the theme that comes from the songs and is carried through in the liner notes; that of traditional quilts and their folk-culture themes.