Christina Harrison,
(Glenanne, 1999)

When Christina Harrison sings about the joys and heartbreaks of moving on, she does so based on her own personal experiences. Born in Scotland, Christina spent time living in Austria, Germany and England before moving to the United States.

Her CD Exiles is a collection of contemporary and traditional folk and Celtic songs, as well as several original tunes. Exiles contains a nice variety of both familiar and less familiar songs whose common theme is moving on and reflecting back places that conjure up fond memories.

"Town I Loved So Well" is Phil Coulter's powerful song about the heartbreak of returning to his childhood town and seeing it suffer the violence in Northern Ireland. It includes former Cherish the Ladies member Siobhan Egan on fiddle. Dougie Maclean's "Caledonia" is a beautiful song about his love for Scotland. The opening track, "Don't Let The Sun Go Down Upon Your Anger," and "To Exiles" both prove that Christina is also a decent songwriter.

"A Little Piece of Ireland" is a nice, more up-tempo song with an enjoyable catchy melody. "Home Is In Your Heart" takes on a country flavor. "Month Of January" is a beautiful arrangement of a traditional song. While several of the songs, including "Skye Boat Song," have been performed many times, Christina's pleasant voice and simple, pleasing arrangements make you not mind hearing them again. The CD closes with Fairport Convention's "Farewell, Farewell," written by Richard Thompson. And while I never thought anyone could sing this as well as the late Sandy Denny, Christina does a very good job.

Christina's voice and guitar playing, combined with a capable group of musicians and a good collection of songs, make Exiles a very enjoyable CD.

[ by Dave Townsend ]
Rambles: 21 July 2001

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