Paddy Tutty,
The Roving Jewel
(Prairie Druid, 2000)

Paddy Tutty is a well-respected balladeer from the Canadian prairies. The Roving Jewel is a compilation of two earlier CDs, Who Liveth So Merry and Paddy Tutty. These recordings are testimony to her passion for folk music from Britain, Ireland and North America. Ballads are of special interest to her, and those chosen for this CD make for an interesting collection of stories.

Paddy interprets the ballads with her own accompaniment on fiddle, fretted dulcimer, whistle and guitar. She has a distinct singing style that brings the words of the ballad out of the past and into the present. There's a raw, homespun vibration to her vocals and one easily imagines her strumming and singing in the old courtyards of England.

Some lyrics have humorous undertones, but Paddy takes the stance that these are serious longings and pinings, worries and joys, of the creators of these songs. And so they may have been. Her graceful interpretations give rise to these old ballads as pieces of personal memory, not just as pieces of musical art. With such a collection it's not strange that when Paddy's distinct voice trills with a lilt of Irish there's a surge of emotion.

A passion for folk singing can be assuaged by a listen to The Roving Jewel, and those who missed her first CDs can be sure they're getting the best of those two on this one.

[ by Virginia MacIsaac ]
Rambles: 9 February 2002

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