Ruth Notman - The Life Of Lilly

Ruth Notman - The Life Of Lilly

Mrs Casey Records MCRCD9002

The Life of Lilly is an album of myriad moods and tempos, skilled backing musicians, stripped bare and big production numbers, self penned and traditional songs. But in truth none of that really matters – because Ruth Notman has a single surefire weapon - a fluid, effortless, unadulterated knock out voice that reels you in and sweeps all before it.

The follow up to the young Nottingham-based singer songwriter’s acclaimed debut album Threads, this is a gorgeous album produced by Ich Mowatt and Joe Heap.

With a vocal range that can seemingly tackle anything you care to throw at her, Ruth has chosen a meaningful mix of 12 songs. In the opening The Hedger and Ditcher she could have stepped straight into TV’s Lark Rise to Candleford and earnt herself a place alongside melodeon-toting Alf Arless! She moves smoothly between English ballads like The Squire of Tamworth to her poignant title track song about relative Lilly, a soaring Lark in the Clear Air and a mesmerising a cappella treatment of John Tams’ Hold Back the Tide.

Her own strong composition Holding On, written for sister Amy, nudges into mainstream and she delivers a jauntily infectious take on Si Tu Dois Partir (the classic Fairport French language version of Dylan’s If You Gotta Go, Go Now which Ruth released as a single 40 years after Fairport charted with it.  Great fun.  Also in lighter vein is the upbeat Johnny Be Fair as penned by Buffy Sainte-Marie and the brilliantly vibrant Here’s To Belief.

Adept and assured beyond her years, Ruth demonstrates remarkably deep and diverse talents and has sterling help from Saul Rose’ s perfectly measured melodeon, the sensitive cello of Hannah Edmonds , Peter Tickell’s versatile violin and the wizardry of Brian Finnegan’s whistle and flute, amongst others. The end result is an addictive feelgood album from one of the finest female voices on the folk circuit - and this is just the start of her story.

 Jane Brace

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 84 of The Living Tradition magazine.