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Kate Denny - Closer To Home (Lapwing)

Star rating: 
3

Former fiddler/singer with the folk trio The Kittiwakes, Kate Denny releases her debut solo record after ten years of composing, arranging and performing on the British folk circuit and in the theatre. As it says on the tin, the songs on this album centre around people and issues associated with home, which includes those around her. The songs are both personal and gentle, adopting melodies that sound much older and from a different time. Kate's previous forays into recording has included sharing an experimental album with Georgian guitarist Zura Dzagnidze, on a themed cycle of compositions, but CLOSER TO HOME sees Kate turn exclusively to self-penned songs of a strong personal nature. 

With the one instrumental piece included, Lapwing to Shore, which features a fiddle duet with main collaborator Charlie Skelton, the eleven songs include true stories of family members Beverley, Billy and Nellie Follett; the first a moving lament to Kate's late sister-in-law, the second a story of a 19 year-old WWI casualty, who just happened to be Kate's great uncle and finally a tragic story of Kate's great grandmother who sadly drowned in a canal in Walsall in the early part of the last century. Each song is written and performed with tenderness and warmth, devoid of over-sentimentalty. Produced in collaboration with Mark Hutchinson and Charlie Skelton, CLOSER TO HOME stands as a fine homage to home, to family and to Kate Denny's place in the world.

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky