Bill Jones

Turn to Me

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Turn to Me Review

by Rick Anderson

For many American fans of British folk music, the first exposure to Bill Jones came with 2001's remarkable Panchpuran, which was actually her second album. Turn to Me, her debut, was originally issued in the U.K. in 2000 and was reissued in 2002 by the American Compass label. Of the two albums, Turn to Me is the more straightforward in its repertoire and spare in its arrangements. The songs are almost all traditional and are interspersed with tune sets, among them a few charming original compositions. Jones delivers thoroughly convincing renditions of such classic fare as "The Handsome Cabin Boy" and the strangely dour drinking song "A Jug of This," and accompanies herself handily on piano, accordion, and Irish flute. On several tracks she is assisted by fiddler Saskia Tomkins and guitarist Simon Haworth, but for the most part she is self-accompanied. (Her rendition of "A Jug of This" features a gentle but funky drum loop courtesy of Mike Frankland.) The spare, uncomplicated instrumental settings serve to showcase Jones' voice, which is clear, full-bodied, and utterly unpretentious. Highly recommended to all lovers of traditional music of the British Isles.

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