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Sally Doherty and the Sumacs - Edge of Spring

Edge of Spring is a compilaton of songs from Sally Doherty and the Sumacs from 1995 - 2005 with three previously unreleased tracks. The collection spans the entire gamut of Sally's work from gentle piano ballads, orchestrated songs, traditional folk songs, soundtrack material with several tracks incorporating more exotic influences. Central to these songsis Sally's warm and intimate voice which adds elegance to the sophisticated backing from the Sumacs, an ensemble featuring cellos, violin, clarinet, flute, piano...

With her rich pure voice nestling and soaring on piano ballads such as 'This Is What She Said' you could be forgiven that this is fairly standard singer / songwriter stuff, but when her voice is swathed in orchestration as on ''Our Senses' which incorporates harp it is apparent that Sally Doherty is working from a broader palette, with a wide range of influences and unafraid to experiment with sounds from other cultures. 'I Am A River' pits her expressive vocal against congas and eastern rhythms, 'O Caminho', a previously unissued tracks, flits effortlessly between taut orchestration and Spanish guitar influenced European pop. I'm more drawn to the classical textures of tracks such as the sombre 'Some Never Know' and 'The Endless Night' and the tracks culled from Black Is The Colour, Doherty's renderings of folk songs from around the world. Aside from flamenco flourishes of 'La Llorona', the other track have the orchestration peeled back acting as subtle shading to the lilting melody of her vocal. 'Lagan Love', 'Low Lowlands of Holland' and 'Black Is The Colour' are among my favourites here, and are renditions that would appeal to folk lovers.

Edge of Spring also includes examples of her soundtrack work composed for a BBC documentary where her harmonies add a touch of Eastern influence to the mythical atmospheric sounds.

Lately Sally has been working with the latin jazz outfit Los Amores, appearing on a Johnny Cash cover with the Mercury Award nominee and fellow Sheffield singer Richard Hawley, and working with his producer Colin Elliot on a collection of songs. Edge of Spring amply illustrates the versatility of this former Sol Invictus member and with the broad range of styles she works with it'll be interesting to see where she goes from here. For more information go to www.shayo.ch