Anne Walker,
(independent, 2010)

Anne Walker is a Toronto-based singer songwriter whose music is a very pleasant blend of folk and country. She has been performing in folk clubs and coffeehouses since the 1980s. Her songs combine thoughtful, personal, honest lyrics with nice melodies, and they have a timeless quality -- they sound like they could have been written last week or 30 years ago.

While her press materials state that she often is compared to Anne Murray or Jane Olivor, her voice and musical style reminds me a lot of Kathy Mattea.

Her third CD, Labyrinth, which is her first since 1995, contains 13 original songs that Walker describes as part of "life's journey." The opening song, "Cupid's Best Arrow," deals -- as the title suggests -- with love and loss. "Disappear into the Darkness" is a beautifully retrospective song that sounds like it was inspired by her children. On "Share a Memory," she includes some nice harmonies from her two daughters. "Clouds" is a positive song of hope.

One of my favorites is the CD's title track with its beautiful, almost Celtic-sounding melody. When you listen to her songs, you get a sense that she is examining the things that are often important in life as you get older. You also feel like her songs were inspired by friends and family and their influences in her life. Her songs do a thoughtful job of dealing with love and loss, along with both the darker and fun aspects of life. There is a very pleasing mature quality to her songwriting.

Labryinth was produced by fellow Canadian and well-known folk producer Paul Mills, who is best known for his work with artists including Stan Rogers and Tanglefoot. Canada has given us quite a few very talented female singer songwriters over the years and Anne Walker's music is no exception. This is a very enjoyable CD.

[ visit the artist's website ]

music review by
Dave Townsend

7 August 2010

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