CD review by Hugh Worrall
TN2393-85 – $25
TN155 Apr 23
I’ve got my CD player on random and, well, I wasn’t expecting that!
When “Pleasure and Pain” starts, my head literally snaps back and my eyes went wide.
What a great choice of song, the anthem by Australian band, The Divinals with Christine Amphlett.
It’s a real tribute and done so well.
When they add the celtic elements, especially with the violin, it’s terrific.
The acoustic bass sounds awesome and the vocals of Sancha Prowse are perfect.
The album is called “Fine Line” which is a phrase out of this song.
“Under The Milky Way”, by Australian band The Church, is another cracker that made me react.
The mix of traditional and modern styles of playing is great.
Apart from the sultry vocals, the accordion and violin really feature, bringing in those celtic patterns again, which sound so familiar.
I think it’s the first time I’ve actually heard the lyrics.
Then we get “You’re The Voice”, the iconic John Farnham song, and it goes to prove (again) that a good song is a good song.
It’s a big ask to cover such a song.
It’s nice but doesn’t have the impact of the original (understandably) but 50 points for doing it!
“Joelene” is terrific and is in fertile territory for the sounds of the band playing guitar and double bass with accordion and mandolin.
“Music for a Found Harmonium” is a traditional sounding reel (although apparently written in the 1970s) which gives the accordion a chance to feature.
It speeds up and changes key and is a lot of fun.
“Water Is Wide” is beautiful.
The vocal harmonies in “Wayfaring Stranger” are lovely.
“I’ll Fly Away” gets a fun bouncy version with accordion and harmony vocals.
It’s a mix of genres which is something Sancha & the Blue Gypsies are very good at.
“Dimming Of The Day” is performed with respect and emotional impact.
This band has guts.
“Spain” is an instrumental song by jazz legend Chick Corea and they do a great job, blending and switching between main, slow, dramatic flamenco/gypsy theme and the other world-music sounds and rhythms, the angular jazz melody and jazzy improvising.
The accordion, mandolin and double bass steal the show.
“Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps” is perfect for Sancha and she does a great job.
This was made famous by Doris Day but it seems like a nice nod to the Aussie movie “Strictly Ballroom”.
With “Dance Me” Sancha keeps channelling Doris’s vocal style and does it great.
They do a nice bouncy version of “What The World Needs Now”.
The band is Garry Steel on accordion and Stan Valacos on double bass.
Marcus Holden provides a lovely variety of sounds on dobro, guitar, violin, tenor guitar, resonator tenor guitar, cello bass and mandolin as well as singing harmonies.
This album is great fun and probably the most enjoyable CD I have reviewed for Trad and Now.
I play in the ‘sessions’ with my local folk club as I’m aware that for most people, popular music is what they want to play and hear.
We’re not all folk aficionados.
Mixing these folky/world-music sounding versions of popular songs with more traditional folk songs is a winner with me.
It’s very pleasurable and intriguing hearing these well-known songs given the Sancha & the Blue Gypsies treatment.
They keep the surprises coming through most of the CD.