John McCormick,
Between Our Hearts
(Phantom Records, 1998)

Between Our Hearts is the third CD from folk-singer John McCormick. Among the thirteen tracks are six traditional tunes, two original pieces and five songs borrowed from other artists.

For those who have never heard him (as I had not), McCormick has a warm, deep voice and a rippling guitar style. Notes seem to flow from his fingers rather than jump out as they would with a more staccato style. His music is soft and rather soothing, quite nice to pop into the CD player at work or to come home to.

He is joined on Between Our Hearts by Maggie Boyle on flute, bodhran, whistle and harmony vocals, Judi Meister on fiddle, Steve Kobe on bass and Steve Tilston on arpeggione, with additional vocals by Jean Roberts, Sue Tribby, Mark Tribby and Bill Bailey.

Memorable tracks include "Tide and the River Rising" and "Bonnie Jean Cameron." The latter, presented with McCormick's flowing guitar accompaniment, is a rather intriguing interpretation of a traditional song. "Fair Anna," an original composition in honor of McCormick's mother, is a lovely flute and guitar duet. "Southwind," another traditional tune, again showcases the guitar and flute. At some point, I would be most interested to hear more such pieces; perhaps McCormick and Boyle would consider putting out a CD of flute and guitar duets in the future.

Between McCormick's voice and seamless guitar, Between Our Hearts is sure to please any fan of folk music.

[ by Laurie Thayer ]