Charlotte Greig,
At Llangennith
(Harmonium, 2001)

Charlotte Greig has a thrilling and expressive voice, and a gift for arrangements that showcase her vocals as the 10 tracks on At Llangennith clearly demonstrate.

Greig composed eight of the songs; the remaining two are traditional. Her voice captures the ebb and flow of the tide in "At Llangennith," the evocative and moody title track, then lilts into the ballad "Willie O'Winsberry," one of the traditional tracks with rather a happier ending than similar ballads.

"That Man" is a startling contrast to the previous tracks with its simple, nursery rhyme-like melody and off-kilter lyrics, apparently about a planned seduction of "that man." I say "apparently" because the modulations that make the timbre of Greig's voice appealing also mask the lyrics. The lyrics are not printed on the CD insert, which is frustrating to the listener, especially since the insert features a gorgeous double-spread color photo. I would have given that up for the poetry.

Greig accompanies herself with keyboards, piano, harmonium and dulcimer, with Julian Hayman providing support on bass and guitars. The final song on the CD, "Leave it Blue," closes with a snatch of a recording of Phil Tanner lilting "The Gower Reel" -- a nice touch.

At Llangennith displays sophisticated artistry, and Greig's vocals are mesmerizing. Making the connection between words and music accessible to the listener can only enhance this impressive CD.

[ by Donna Scanlon ]
Rambles: 23 March 2002