Wendy Weatherby

Two Loves

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The cello isn't commonly thought of as a folk instrument, but Wendy Weatherby proves that it can shine in any situation -- in the right hands. She's a wonderful player, with gorgeous tone, and a stately feel to pieces like her own "Poppies from the Somme." With just two accompanists -- both very capable multi-instrumentalists -- she creates an album of gorgeous and imaginative textures. The cello quartet of "Bonny at Morn," for example, is herself overdubbed four times behind her own singing. And she's also a superb vocalist, as the unaccompanied "Wandering Willie" amply illustrates. The breadth of her abilities is evident in the way she works a big ballad like "Cruel Mother," a jig like "Canongate Breeks," or an old slow air like "Duplin House." It's a spare record, with plenty of space to breathe, but that's one of its joys; the nooks and crannies aren't filled with sound. And the rich, woody sound keeps center stage, especially joyful on the strathspey "Laughter in the Gallery." So who cares if the cello isn't normally a folk instrument? In Weatherby's hands it works perfectly.

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