A Review of the Eddi Reader CD
"Eddi Reader Sings The Songs of Robert Burns"

"Eddi Reader Sings The Songs of Robert Burns"
by Eddi Reader

Copyright 2004 7 4368 2
Compass Records
117 30th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
ph: (800)757-7672
fax: (615)320-7378

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 3/04
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Where have you been all my life Eddi Reader? Well, maybe the better question is where have I been? At first exposure to Glasgow native Reader, this reviewer is packing for Scotland, lured by a marvelously expressive voice that dances about between tender, provocative, vulnerable and joyous.

Selecting, except for one cut, from the bountiful song collection of Robert Burns, Reader celebrates this Scottish treasure whose body of work remains one that artists return to time and time again.

The highpoints:

"Jamie Come Try Me" has Reader signing in with a jazzy, improvisational interpreation, backed by velvety orchestral strings.

"Willie Stewart" is a bouncy salute to Burns' friend of the same name that transitions to a John Rankin tune that carries on the momentum.

"Ae Fond Kiss'" lowers the temperature with the evocation of sadness resulting from a failed relationship. But fear not for Burns displays his lascivious wit with "Brose and Butter."

"Ye Jacobites," a lament for the frontline grunts who fight and fall, and an indictment of those who, from a safe space, issue the orders, has an unfortunate pertinence to this day.

Reader and Company make "Charlie Is My Darling," a most infectious cut that seems like something out of the 1930s.

Burns' turn at saluting the treasures of long-lasting fidelity comprises "John Anderson My Jo."

Appropriately, the release closes with a luminous version of "Auld Lang Syne," performed a cappella early on and then with lush strings backing. This one will define wistfulness in any future dictionary.

Reader can evoke vivid emotions with her eloquent singing and the pairing of her vocals with the writing of Robert Burns is synergy at its best.

Eddi Reader, on vocals and acoustic guitar, is joined by Ian Carr on acoustic guitar and piano; Phil Cunningham on accordion, piano and whistles; Roy Dodds on percussion; Christine Hanson on cello; Boo Hewerdine on acoustic guitar; John McCusker on violin, cittern and whistles; Colin Reid on acoustic guitar; Ewen Vernal on double bass; and The Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Track List:

All songs by Robert Burns, unless as noted.

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