Album Review - Siobhán Smith / Timing Is Everything

Timing is Everything is the new debut album by Siobhán Smith.  By way of background Siobhán grew up in New York and was classically trained in her formative years.  With traditional Irish music a constant feature in her home environment it was not long before she was learning the art of traditional fiddling and developing her own style and approach. She quickly grew in stature as a player and featured for a time with the Pete Kelly Ceili Band.  She also toured extensively with various stage shows in Europe and the States. This debut is therefore influenced by her classical and traditional background and an obvious love of Country and Americana music. It is remarkably well produced with a strong emphasis on harmonies, counter play between instruments and some very strong self compositions driving it along.  Traditional albums are of late absorbing new sounds from the road as our young artists are travelling the festivals of the world and bringing home other styles and influences.  This album takes it a bit further with 4 of the 12 tracks most definitely in the Country/Americana category.

The opening track on the album is a Don Williams song called It Must Be Love.  It is well arranged and delivered in true Country style with bass, drums, mandolin driving it along. From there she leads into some slip jigs called Waterboogie by Beoga and Farewell to Whalley Range by Michael McGoldrick. There is a definite Bill Whelan vibe to the arrangement.  The Weakness In My Soul is another song very much in the country field and recounts a friends assessment that while music is her forte it is also ironically the weakness in her life.  And so it goes as we cover a number of country tracks and an equal number of traditional Irish numbers. There are songs by J.T.Ely's Who Will Sing For Me, Paul Brady's Follow On and a Robert Frost inspired self composition called The Road Not Taken.  This and another instrumental air called Lament for Michael & Dineen are the highlights of the album.  With recording and mixing by Trevor Hutchinson you know you are in good hands and Siobhán brings along a dozen or so musicians to deliver what is a varied album of sounds and genres. Part country, part traditional and with some strong original compositions it will suit those who like a wider Country infused colour in their music.  It’s fantastically delivered with production values that are sky high.


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