|21 × 15 × 1.5 cm
Helen Rowes debut CD “The Slow Return” has a range of folk inspired originals, traditional Australian & Celtic songs & tunes. A strong interpretation of a range of contemporary songs including mellow country Folk originals with a whimsical angle on lifes vississtudes.
Helen Rowe ‘The Slow Return’
By John Williams
Helen hails from Queensland and writes many of her own songs. This CD has a good mix of these self composed songs and others by people as varied as Don Henderson, Michael O’Rourke, Harry Robertson, Phyl Lobl, the McGarrigle sisters and poets W.B. Yeats and our own Dorothy Hewitt and ‘Breaker’ Morant. Helen has a voice which is easy to listen to and has chosen her songs well to fit her style of singing. She has developed her craft over almost thirty years in Queensland. This sort of grounding is far more real than the ‘Australian Idol’ instant discoveries we have today.
The CD opens with ‘Before Light’ a song written by Helen about living in the city but having a gypsy soul and wanting to travel. This is followed by Heart like a Wheel’ by Kate and Anna McGarrigle. Helen’s guitar accompaniment in this song shows her versatility as a performer.
‘Winter in the Rain’ is another song of Helen’s about hanging onto your dreams through dark times. Harry Robertson’s ‘Whalin’ Wife’ is a mournful song with a very appropriate concertina backing by June Nichols. Phyl Lobl’s ‘Courage in their Cases’ is a lovely song about the sacrifices made by immigrant women.
W.B. Yeats’ poem ‘Innisfree’ is put to a tune composed by Helen and is about finding peace in a beautiful part of the World. It is a truly beautiful adaptation of a classic.
There are also a couple of traditional tunes on the CD ‘The Bird Set’ which comprises ‘The Eagle’s Whistle’ and ‘Nightingales’ and shows Helen’s ability on the violin backed by Lonnie Martin on the Appalachian dulcimer. Also included in the traditional vein is ‘Siul a Run’ which also makes for good listening.
‘Deadly Lullaby’ is a very moving track Helen wrote many years ago about suffering children. Sadly it still resonates around the World today. When will we ever learn.
‘The Michael O’Rourke classic ‘T.I Woman’ is given great treatment by Helen. Don Henderson’s ‘In My Time’ follows with its thoughtful look at life.
I really liked ‘Second Chance Café’ written by Helen which sends the message that it’s never too late and to go for it whatever your age. The beautiful ‘Sailor Home From the Sea’ makes a valuable addition to this CD. ‘Mary Lou’ is a song which provides hope for the future after lost love.
‘As Stock Go By’ written by ‘Breaker’Morant shows the beautiful words this poet created over a hundred years ago. Lord Kitchener has a lot to answer for.
The penultimate track ‘Prophecy’ is about nature taking over from a post industrial World of greedy industrialists. Powerful stuff.
‘Kids Will Grow’, the third Don Henderson track, is a song of hope in our children’s future growth. A fine way to finish a thought provoking CD.
I enjoyed this CD, there really is something for everyone on it.
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