It’s a real shame that the cover of this disc is so washed out (intentionally retro?), because the music inside is a lot brighter.
It starts off with the vibrant, mandolin-driven “Where the Poor Find Gold,” and while she doesn’t explicitly point to where that is, those who know of her faith (with husband David, she wrote the lyrics to Dave Bainbridge’s Celestial Fire project) will recognise where she is coming from.
Try these lyrics:
O pure river will you drown my pain?
Wash away the sorrow with its ugly stain?
I’ll find healing in your ebb and flow…
You’re running to the place where the weak grow bold
Running to the place where truth unfolds
You’re running to the place where the poor find gold.
I’d happily sing that in church, as well as “Sweetest Freedom,” with its Beatitudes-like chorus.
Lyon writes in the liner notes that this project, “reflects my own journey of gathering together fractured pieces to find a way forward,” and that is clear in songs with titles like “Hope” and “All is not Lost.”
Lyon has shared stages with the likes of Patti Griffin, Karine Polwart and Eddi Reader. The music here fits very comfortably with the latter, as well as with Boo Hewerdine, a sometime co-writer, and several on the current folk circuit.
As a Scot, her roots come out, not so much in Celtic sounds, but in the way some tunes evolve.
Sandy Jones and ex-Wet Wet Wet member Graeme Duffin have co-produced and brought some fresh sounds to some tracks – ambient edges to “Farewell” and “She Survived the Winter” – as well as a poppier approach to “Everything’s Fine.”
Honest with experience, purposeful regarding hope and lyrically rich, this is a deep and rewarding release (once you’ve put the cover away and just listen to the music).