After many years of musical silence, Judy Dyble, who was the first singer with Fairport Convention in 1968, has gradually returned to issuing albums in her genre of choice, folk music. We recently had the pleasure of listening to Talking with Strangers, her album which came out in 2009, but which had a bigger re-release at the beginning of this year.
Judy Dyble certainly hasn’t thrown in her hand, returning now with Flow and Change, her new album which is heavily tinged with folk. For this record, Judy assembled a group of top musicians, as she did on her previous album. Alistair Murphy, the composer and musician who made a major contribution to Talking with Strangers, is back. On Flow and Change, he co-wrote two thirds of the songs. Another contributor is Simon House, a living legend, who played violin with High Tide and Hawkwind, and who’s played on a host of albums, from David Bowie to Nik Turner and from Robert Calvert to Mike Oldfield. He wrote the music for the first song on the album, the beautiful Black Dog Dreams. Julianne Regan, singer with All About Eve, also co-wrote one number, the very beautiful Head Full of Stars.
Among the outstanding musicians on the album is the ubiquitous Pat Mastelotto, the drummer who founded Mr. Mister in the 80s and who’s played on albums by Martin Briley, Holly Knight, Scandal, Al Jarreau, The Pointer Sisters, Patti LaBelle, Kenny Loggins, Martika, Danny Wilde and even the Canadian prog-rocker Kim Mitchell. A real ace, as you can see. Mention must also be made of fleeting appearances by guest artists such as Matt Malley (ex-Counting Crows) and Mike Mooney (of Spiritualized).
Backed by this fine band, on Flow and Change Judy gives us ten calm and contemplative songs, tinged with romanticism and sadness. There’s great coherence in the style, Black Dog Dreams and Head Full of Stars standing out from the other numbers, which have a feeling of sweet and flowing naivety, with Judy’s angelic voice lending everything a distinctive grace.
Yes, ‘graceful’ is the word for Flow and Change. Full of beauty and tranquillity, this album takes the listener down a slow river bordered with notes of crystal, right up to the ten minutes of the final number The Sisterhood of Ruralists, with its birdsong of sweeping, melodramatic violins. A perfect second addition to Judy Dyble’s recent work.
(Translation- Ian Maun)
Music In Belgium – Chronicles