Cathryn Craig

I Will

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On their second collaboration (the first being Willoughby's Black & White), Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby deliver a pastoral set of homey back-porch folk. For Black & White the duo had worked up some special magic on the single "Alice's Song" -- a sensitive ode to an autistic girl. Here they return to the Scottish Goldrush label with seven new co-written originals and some covers, including "There Will Come a Day," by Strawbs bandmate Dave Cousins. Willoughby's impeccable acoustic guitar technique provides a clean, light touch with plenty of tasty melodic leads. Craig's "down home country" vocals and guitar compliment Willoughby's guitar like hand in glove. Recorded at KD's Studio in London, the musical setting is intimate, sparse, and rooted in American traditionalism -- mostly just acoustic guitars with an occasional side player on bass, viola, or accordion. It feels like Cathryn and Brian are right in the living room with you. The bittersweet songs speak of familiar country themes: broken hearts, longing for love, betrayals, departures, homelessness, hard living, redemption, and marriage. The bluesy "Mr. Jefferson" alludes to Thomas Jefferson's love affair with one of his slaves. They also toss in sensitive readings of "Amazing Grace" and "What a Wonderful World." Craig's melodious Virginia drawl works wonders in cozy quarters such as these, and with Willoughby's steady hand on guitar, the consistency of the session is never in doubt. If you're in the mood for a quiet evening of well-played, heartfelt singer/songwriter country-folk, look no further.

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