Wendy Stewart,
Standing Wave
(Greentrax, 2003)

Gentle folk music is a rarity in live performance. We all love the rousing, sing-along style, the getting involved and the craic. Because of this we sometimes forget that there is stylish, sweet and beautiful music out there, too.

Wendy Stewart is an artist who can help you to rediscover this truth. Her primary instruments are harps of many varieties -- gut-strung, wire-strung, bohemian and electro. She also plays concertina and has a beautiful voice. All facets get exposure on this CD.

She opens with "Flowers of the Forest," interwoven with "The Old Sword's Lament." She sings a haunting tale on "Now Draw Close and Hear My Song." To a melody on which "Barbara Allen" is based, she tells of the clearances on Mull.

"Fires at Midnight" is a tune written during the "foot and mouth" epidemic when funeral pyres of animals blazed throughout the land. Track 6 combines a traditional song, "All Things are Quite Silent," and "Markellie Waltz," which Stewart wrote to celebrate a wedding.

Throughout this CD you will hear a commitment to the music. She reverently plays the traditional pieces and then gives us her own compositions that resonate with a very obvious love for the tradition. There may not be any hit songs on this CD. It is very much an album for the lover of good music well played.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 10 May 2003