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GRACE NOTES - "Red Wine & Promises" - Fellside FECD126

This is the second album Grace Notes album that I've had for review. I approached it nervously because I wasn't too keen on the previous one, something about the choice of songs - curates egg quotes apply, and the occasional faulty intonation. My overall feeling was that it was OK but nothing special and I'd prefer to hear them live.

Well here I am with this one. This time the feelings are reversed; the songs, without exception, are well chosen, the vocal work firm and well centred, harmonies close but not cloying. That latter is a strong point with me, I've heard so many good songs dragged down by over-leary harmonising.

Favourite tracks? I like their rattling good version of Gypsy Davey, the poignant "Lies" (Stan Rogers) and the gorgeous "Quiet Land of Erin". The title track aint bad either.

Overall, this is a mature and pleasing performance from three women who know what they are doing, namely Maggie Boyle, Lynda Hardcastle, and Helen Hockenhull. I still want to hear them live, in fact I look forward to it. But this will keep me happy till then.

Roy Harris

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This album was reviewed in Issue 27 of The Living Tradition magazine.