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Turn to Me

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Album Review

For many American fans of British folk music, the first exposure to Bill Jones came with 2001's remarkable Panchpuran, which was actually her second album. Turn to Me, her debut, was originally issued in the U.K. in 2000 and was reissued in 2002 by the American Compass label. Of the two albums, Turn to Me is the more straightforward in its repertoire and spare in its arrangements. The songs are almost all traditional and are interspersed with tune sets, among them a few charming original compositions. Jones delivers thoroughly convincing renditions of such classic fare as "The Handsome Cabin Boy" and the strangely dour drinking song "A Jug of This," and accompanies herself handily on piano, accordion, and Irish flute. On several tracks she is assisted by fiddler Saskia Tomkins and guitarist Simon Haworth, but for the most part she is self-accompanied. (Her rendition of "A Jug of This" features a gentle but funky drum loop courtesy of Mike Frankland.) The spare, uncomplicated instrumental settings serve to showcase Jones' voice, which is clear, full-bodied, and utterly unpretentious. Highly recommended to all lovers of traditional music of the British Isles.


Born: Staffordshire, England

Genre: Biography & Memoir

Years Active: '00s

The first thing to realize about Bill Jones is that Bill isn't short for William -- it's an abbreviation of Belinda. Once you've taken that on board, you're ready to understand one of the more interesting young roots performers to come out of Britain. Born in Staffordshire, she grew up with music around the house; her father played fiddle in a ceilidh band and accompanied Morris dancers, while her part-Indian mother was a huge Buddy Holly fan, singing his songs as she did the housework. Jones herself...
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Turn to Me, Bill Jones
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