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MARGARET CHRISTL "The Picture in My Mind" Waterbug Music WBG0040

Scots-born Margaret Christl has spent the bulk of her life in North America. I heard her sing in Toronto over a decade ago, bringing home a memory of a singer of high promise, yet to find her own style. There's been a Folk Legacy album in the interim but I heard no more until this CD arrived.

Verdict? Well she certainly has found a style, and a voice too, a big, strong, mature voice with the kind of edge possessed by some of the top Scottish women - I'm talking Robertson, Wellington, Fisher - I'm sure she's been listening to some of them. Good policy. Listen to the best.

In an eleven song programme, Margaret chooses traditional favourites such as "Maggie Lauder", "Jock O Hazeldean", using that laserbeam voice to good effect but she is even more impressive in a number of modern songs including Sheena Wellington's "Women of Dundee". The highlight, though, comes in the title song, Margaret Christl's own composition. It's a story of personal sadness, an insight into the singer's life, giving the reason for the placing of her mother's photo on the cover of the album booklet. Christl's telling and heartfelt singing of this is a standout on an album that has lots to recommend it. Good to hear you again Margaret!

Roy Harris

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This album was reviewed in Issue 29 of The Living Tradition magazine.