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Norma Waterson

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Album Review

It may have taken nearly 30 years for someone to suggest a Norma Waterson solo project, but the outcome was well worth the wait. Waterson's eponymous titled debut, with the exception of "There is a Fountain in Christ's Blood," isn't the traditional collection some would expect, but is filled with material from contemporary writers which makes it much closer in sound to the folk-rock of an artist like Richard Thompson. The record kicks off with a beautiful reading of Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter's "Black Muddy River" and rolls through a range of songs by the likes of Thompson, Billy Bragg, Elvis Costello, Ben Harper and Norma's sister Lal. The backing is sympathetic throughout, mixing Martin Carthy's intricate acoustic guitar with Richard Thompson's lyrical electric work, Danny Thompson's bass, Roger Swallow's drums and bits of violin from Eliza Carthy. It would be easy for such an all-star band to outshine a lesser talent, but it's Norma Waterson's world-weary alto that instills the songs with a timelessness and gives them real life.


Born: 15 August 1939 in Kingston Upon Hull, East Riding,

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Since the mid-'60s, Norma Waterson, along with brother Mike, sister Lal and others, have performed together as the Watersons to make some of the most beautiful records in British traditional music. While performing one evening with her family at McCabe's in Santa Monica, California, club booker and producer John Chelew inquired if Waterson had ever considered recording a solo album. The subsequent record, entitled Norma Waterson, was recorded in Los Angeles in late 1995 with the help of friends and...
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Norma Waterson, Norma Waterson
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