I have warm, if somewhat faded, memories of my first wading into the pool of folk music in the mid 1970s; American ballads, their Scottish cousins, and of course the fiddle music: gradually learning to hear the differences between the Scottish, Irish, Cape Breton, French Canadian, and New England styles. And of course the “contemporary” songs – those attributed to a living composer. The pool became an ocean, and it comes pleasantly washing back over me now when I listen to the debut recording from Annalivia.
Titled, simply Annalivia, this album has a bit of everything, from the opening southern ballad “A Sailor Being Tired”, followed by a stately medley of newly composed fiddle tunes: Goon Castle and The Groton Session Jig, contemporary songs composed by Richard Thompson and Mark Simos, a powerful “Cape Breton Set”, and so on – a wonderful variety of styles and genres reflecting influences which include Pentangle, The Bothy Band, Anne Briggs, Fairport Convention, Altan, Jimmy Page, XTC, Steeleye Span, Bill Monroe, Jean Ritchie, Alison Krauss and Union Station, and Emmylou Harris. From such fertile ground Annalivia has build a sound that stands on its own for originality, on a foundation of stellar musicianship.