Dione Taylor – Spirits In The Water
10 songs time-36:41
Aside from all the fine musicianship and singing here the prominent instrument here is the outstanding production values of Joel Schwartz and Sandy Mamane. The instrument placement and tonal quality of the music jumps out at me, but I digress. Canada’s Dione Taylor commanding voice is the star of the show, followed closely by the talented musicians supporting her musical vision. The instrumentation is the usual suspects of guitar, keyboards, bass and drums along with banjo and violin on a few selections. All save one song are co-penned by Dione.
The album’s title is derived from the Tanasi River(Singing River) in Tennessee. Legend has it that there is a woman living in the waterway who sings songs to protect those who hear her. From the promo sheet-“This Musical odyssey explores the deep sacred, healing journey back to the self”.
The lead off track “Water” is a slice of stylized pop enhanced by Joel Schwartz’s textured guitar play. It’s essentially the title track. As elsewhere on the CD, the device of clicking drumsticks together is employed here, reminiscent of some Adam Ant songs. “Workin'” is an energetic slide guitar infused tune. An intense and mysterious vibe infuses the searching “Where I Belong” with its’ haunting Delta-ish guitar in the background.
“Down The Line” is about Sojurner Truth, the black female abolitionist and civil rights activist. Banjo, guitar and violin intermingle. The chance of reconciling a relationship is the subject of the moody “One More Shot” with its’ mournful dobro. Banjo competes with electric slide guitar on the gospel influenced rhythm fest “Spirit”. “How Many Times” carries on in a similar vain.
More mysterious swampy vibes on the haunting “Darkness”. Additional lyrics are added to the traditional “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around” that speaks of racism and equality to a torrent of bubbling guitars. “Running” is an energetic force musically and lyrically.
A modern day eloquently delivered thought provoking journey through one woman’s humanity. The craftsmanship at work here is seamless and moving while steering away from slickness. Every element gels, resulting in a cohesive and satisfying musical experience. The instrumentation is apropos in every setting. This is a complex work worthy of revisiting time and again. No run of the mill project this one.