English Country Garden - Jenny McCormick - CD
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cd cover Jenny McCormick
English Country Garden (Square Peg Records, UK)

This young folk singer from Manchester, England is delicate and honest, and this collection of traditional folk songs and her own trad-inspired originals is a cut above the usual folk-fare. The music will speak to members of the last wave, with hints of Kate Rusby and Eliza Carthy, but it will also reach back to older fans of the likes of the Incredble String Band and the Nic Jones. There is nothing startling or avant about this recording, save for the realization that simplicity pays off so handsomely. Accompanied primarily by guitar and a marvelously woody acoustic bass, with touches of other instruments sparsely scattered about.

Read an intervie wwith Jenny in RootsWorld


1. Go From My Window
2. Don't Be Cruel
3. House Carpenter
4. Hey Joe
5. The Fisherboy
6. Blackwater Side
7. A Sailing Song
8. Old Flames
9. My Sweet William
10. Stars and Trees
11. Me, I Prefer the Moon

"Almost half of the album consists of Jenny's revisiting of traditional folk songs, including The House Carpenter, My Sweet William and a truly stunning take on Blackwaterside. She doesn't so much faithfully replicate familiar versions of the songs as use them as a foundation for her own extensive remodelling. Purists may initially blanch at her approach, but they should let go of any misgivings they may have: much like the Memory Band's excellent reworkings of traditional material on their recent Apron Strings album, Jenny has an uncanny ability to make these songs her own." Nigel Owen Spencer - Harvest Home

"Her music, while undoubtedly folk, sits as close to the likes of the Be Good Tanyas as it does to Kathryn Williams, and is all the better for it. Itís her voice though, that really sets English Country Garden apart from the pack. Less a vocal and more a breathy gem that glistens with emotion, it shimmers and shines its way through the eleven songs. Her talent for songwriting is pretty formidable too and thereís no greater example of this than when she sits the slow country of her Hey Joe and the aching finesse of her Fisherboy between the folk classics House Carpenter and Blackwater Side, and thereís no drop in quality." Chris Long - BBC Manchester

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