Bill Jones, Aoife
Clancy & Anne Hills,
Faire Winds Live
(Brick Wall, 2003)

Oh, how I wanted this to be a full-length CD! It is only six tracks, but it is worth the price of many a three-CD set. Here we have a truly international offering; as the subtitle says, "three stunning voices -- three different cultures."

The cultures are England, Ireland and the USA. The voices are, respectively, Bill Jones, Aoife Clancy and Anne Hills. Yes, three divas of the folk genre on one short album.

I have reviewed Bill (Belinda) Jones before and was blown away by her voice and interpretation of classic folk songs. Here she takes lead vocal on the beautiful traditional song "Rocking the Cradle." The harmony vocals from her companions lift a track that is already way up there with its piano tune.

The Appalachian song "Across the Blue Mountains" opens with just the clear, crystal voice of Aoife Clancy drawing us in. The others join in to bring us a magical a cappella track. You can feel the mountain mist and see the trees as you drift away with the music.

America's Anne Hills takes lead vocal on her own composition, "Pendle Hill." My favourite track is another written by Hills, "Some Boats," with guitar and piano along with those voices.

The CD ends all too soon with Alan Bell's composition of "So Here's to You." The lyrics saying "we will meet again" gives us hope of more collaborations between these three angels of folk.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 24 January 2004