Charlotte Greig,
Down in the Valley
(Harmonium, 1999)

Charlotte Greig has a lovely voice and brings a beautiful performance to each track on her CD Down in the Valley.

In particular on "Cruel Mother," a traditional song, she makes the listener feel the sadness and sorrow.

"Take Me Home" is penned by Charlotte and is to my mind the top track on this album. The theme is love, or rather the longing for love. It is played out beautifully and convincingly with the young girl imagining what love might be like. Top praise is due to Charlotte for this fine writing.

She also wrote a track called "All Through the Night." The introduction and the underlying tune are mesmerising and well worth the price of the CD. Unfortunately, Charlotte does not provide the lyrics and even after repeated listening I cannot be sure of the theme. "As you give away your laughter I will keep your tears, show them all your courage, I will guard your fears." Is it a tale of a mother mourning a lost child? Whatever my shortcomings in understanding the song, it is worth hearing and would make a hit single with proper airplay.

"The Wondrous Cross" is sung with true feeling and depth, as is the traditional song "The Bells of Paradise."

Charlotte Greig has a great potential which folk music will be the poorer for not knowing.

My small quibbles would be that although her record label is Harmonium Music, perhaps the use of the instrument itself needs toning down. And, of course, the lack of printed lyrics, which might so enhance our understanding and enjoyment of the album.

[ by Nicky Rossiter ]
Rambles: 26 January 2002

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