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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cathy Jordan All The Way Home

Cathy Jordan
All The Way Home
Blix Street

Anyone who’s ever come across the band Dervish in concert will tell you just how stirring a performer vocalist Cathy Jordan can be. Capable of whipping a crowd along with a winning personality and a deceptively powerful voice, she’s been a significant factor in the band’s success in their native Ireland since she joined in the early 90s. Hailing from such a hard-working outfit it’s little wonder that it’s taken Jordan to getting around to releasing her fist solo album.

Happily the wait has been worthwhile, with some breathtaking interpretations of traditional songs such as Eileen McMahon. The arrangement has acoustic and electric instruments shimmering gently, as ephemeral as morning morning mist, with Jordan’s carefully measured vocal, as a point of certainty hovering between the glistening notes. Here she’s joined by Eddi Reader who takes the part of the ghostly Eileen, relating her lament for the shores of her lost homeland.  

Overall, the accent of the music throughout remains located in the sparkling vitality of its traditional Irish roots.And while the energy one encounters with Jordan as a member of Dervish has been dialed down, there’s no loss in quality or masterly finesse she brings to her material.

As well as being a fine interpreter, Jordan uses the album to display the results of her own songwriting. A good example of where, once again, the sparsity of the backing shifts attention to the voice itself, is found on The Road I Go. Here Jordan is presented without anything at all in the way of post-production trickery. That natural quality and quiet confidence radiating from her vocals is perhaps the album’s greatest strength.

This review first appeared here

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