Bridget St. John

A Pocketful of Starlight: The Best of Bridget St. John

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For a brief tenure in the early 1970s, singer/songwriter Bridget St. John was riding high, wildly loved by British folk fans and DJ John Peel, on whose Dandelion Records label she released her first three albums. After a fourth album on Chrysalis and a move to New York City, she disappeared Garbo-like into the ether. Thanks to the re-release of the three Dandelion titles on Cherry Red Records, a new generation of fans have fallen in love with her deep vocal tones, intelligent lyrics, and her air of quiet self-possession, and the singer has even been lured into performing occasionally. While not a comprehensive career retrospective, this Cherry Red compilation gathers some of the finest tracks from all four of her albums, and makes a case for her skills as both a chronicler of life's subtle beauties and a singer and guitarist of distinction. The songs range from the purely acoustic, unembellished gems of her debut-- the Elizabethan-sounding strains of "Curl Your Toes," the somber lament of "Autumn Lullaby," and the teasing air of "Ask Me No Questions" -- to the more layered arrangements of her later recordings. Her biggest hit, the raga-like "Lazarus," is accounted for, although more recent fans may find the catch in her voice on the chorus to be a dated affectation. The most powerful tracks here are the haunting and mysterious "Back to Stay" and the mournful "The Hole In Your Heart," a more recent offering that St. John wrote in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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