Barbara Dymock

Leaf an’ Thorn

(own label)

BARBARA Dymock shows several ways of keeping traditional songs alive and thriving on this, her second album in a career that stretches back to the 1970s. Working with multi-instrumentalist Christopher Marra, Dymock lends the Wife of Usher’s Well a Malian groove and gives Tibbie Fowler and Dainty Doonby lusty dance settings but she also understands the power of simplicity, as her lovely unaccompanied reading of Helen of Kirkconnel underlines.

She has a warm, clear, mature voice and as well as giving variously spring-fingered and atmospheric arrangements with instrumentation including fiddle, recorder and accordion alongside his own guitar, mandolin and melodica, Marra provides two particularly fine vehicles for her in his settings of Violet Jacob’s The Heid Horseman and The Brig.

Sung with superb character by Dymock, these could easily follow the late Jim Reid’s adaptation of Jacob’s The Wild Geese into the folk repertoire and it’s good to hear Dymock also giving plaintive voice to the Corries’ Lord Yester and infusing The Banks of Inverurie with realism.

Rob Adams