Carol Grimes - Mother (Irregular 2005)
The area between jazz, blues and Americana has recently been colonised by a series of young Norah Jones clones, so how welcome to hear a voice that speaks from experience of both life and music. The musicians are excellent - Harry Becket"s trumpet on Tom Wait"s "New Coat of Paint" and "Scars" is on a par with the great Lester Bowie. She performs a similar earthy magic on Nick Cave"s "Into My Arms", Sandy Denny"s "Who Knows Where Time Goes" (throbs of double bass and splashes of Rhodes electric piano) and songs by Ron Sexsmith and Randy Newman (here especially the grime of existence adds poignancy to "Better off Dead" a strategy that works just as well on Joni Mitchell"s "Two Grey Rooms"). These aren"t covers; they are interpretations, invested with something new and where she sets her own poetry to music as she does on "Blues for Louis," we"re in bohemian London by way of Warhol"s New York. An anthemic cover of Lennon"s "Cover" brings this excellent set to a close.
Date review added: Saturday, May 28, 2005