Laurie McClain,
The Trumpet Vine:
A Tribute to Kate Wolf

(Kindred Voices, 2003)

The Trumpet Vine is a beautiful CD subtitled A Tribute to Kate Wolf featuring 14 excellent tracks composed by her. Singer Laurie McClain encourages listeners to seek out information on the late singer at the website maintained in her memory.

The songs here are sung as only a person with true feeling for the lyrics and music can. I will admit my prior ignorance of Wolf's music, but I intend to rectify that immediately.

I usually pick one or two tracks from a CD during a review to concentrate on. With The Trumpet Vine I cannot do this -- not because there are no outstanding tracks but rather every single track is top class. The delivery, the backing, the lyrics and the feeling are impressive on each and every song. If Wolf's music sees a revival of interest, McClain is to blame.

With few tracks under four minutes long, they still hold the ear, mind and heart. "Across the Great Divide" in particular is a fantastic song that needs to get airplay. Not only does it offer a great example of good composition and performance, it is an antidote to most of the rubbish that does get to clog so many airways. Listen to "We've Loved Away the Night" and tell me this is not a classic love song.

It is incredible to note that these songs are more than two decades old. They sound as fresh and relevant as the 21st century. Listening to this album I want to go out to find "Old Jerome" -- so real is the imagery described by Wolf's words and McClain's voice. The title track is enhanced by a duet with Jerry Rau, and the cello will make your hair stand on end. You can keep it on end by moving on to the track "The Wind Blows Wild" and its opening verse.

OK, I will pick a favourite. "Give Yourself to Love" is driving me crazy today, playing it over and over, but it could be any other track tomorrow.

Get this CD or you will be the poorer. It's only January but I truly feel that I have found my album of 2004. Laurie McClain cannot be praised too highly for bringing us this CD. Her beautiful voice brings the inspired lyrics and music to life and gives us a gift in this century. Thank you, Laurie, even the fantastic artwork on the cover is worth the cost of the album. One pity is the lack of printed lyrics.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 31 January 2004

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