CD review by Tony Smith
On this CD, Anne Ridgway puts into practice her use of music as therapy.
More and more we are coming to understand how beneficial music is to our mental and spiritual wellbeing.
Music helps children socialise, as well as rounding out their education and assisting with academic subjects such as maths and art.
Brett Whiteley, for example, drew inspiration from the music of Dire Straits and it is clear that music helps the creative juices flow, tapping into natural instincts.
The notion of therapy assumes that something is amiss and needs treating.
Sadly, as people move further away from natural lifestyles and become trapped in urban rat races, all sorts of psychotherapy are in demand.
In 2020 of course, as we followed medical advice and limited social contacts strictly, these problems were exacerbated.
While all music helps in our healing, the tracks on this CD, ‘Jacaranda’, ‘Scatter the Seed’, ‘Twenty Five Dollars a Day’, ‘Toll the Bell’, ‘Wintermoon’, ‘Paint A Thought’, ‘A Breeze from Tokyo’, ‘Inside Out’, ‘Serendipity’, ‘Soul Sister’ and ‘Warm Love’ are specifically designed to calm, soothe and counter negativity.
There is an identifiable team from the Blue Mountains assisting Anne Ridgway in these pieces.
Bruce Reid plays lapsteel, national steel guitars and dobro, Ann Palumbo plays basses, and violin on ‘A Breeze from Tokyo’ is played by Tony Pyrzakowski.
The lyrics on ‘Inside Out’ were written by Tristan Watson.
Nina Rycroft designed and illustrated the bright, colourful album cover.
The songs were recorded and produced by Robin Janus at Crisp Studios Lawson.
The main voice, harmonies, acoustic guitar, composition and arrangements are by Anne Ridgway.
The singer addresses the ‘Jacaranda’ in second person ‘you’, giving the tree an almost human status.
The song promises ‘your time will come’ and later announces ‘your time has come now Jacaranda’.
The natural cycles are reassuring to all of us who indulge in them.
In most other tracks, Ridgway uses ‘we’ or ‘I’ to personalise the musings.
And in some, including the title track ‘Paint A Thought’, both ‘you’ and ‘I’ feature.
It is unlikely that any musician would deny that music generally has a therapeutic effect.
Nevertheless, some can be unsettling and leave the listener feeling on edge or jaded.
The songs of Ann Ridgway make pleasant listening and while not quite soporific, they leave the listener relaxed and satisfied.
They bring the listener into pleasant places and pleasant climes, populated with pleasant if imaginary people and spirits.
Also available by Anne Ridgway is Angophora – TN017-2 and Turn Your World Around -TN452-2