Downriver

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Downriver is a gently rolling album, featuring Karen Matheson's resonant vocals on a handful of songs mostly in Gaelic. Everything -- the vocals, the songs, and the spare arrangements -- works in unison to evoke the quiet river of the album's cover. With their peaceful foundation, songs like "Chi Mi Bhuam" and "Gleann Baile Chaoil" are perfectly suited for quiet moments of reflection or just plain relaxation. Matheson is joined by a number of players, including pianist Donald Shaw who also produced the album, guitarist James Grant, fiddler Aidan O'Rourke, and, in various places, several background singers, each helping to craft a seamless backdrop behind her vocals. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Downriver is a gently rolling album, featuring Karen Matheson's resonant vocals on a handful of songs mostly in Gaelic. Everything -- the vocals, the songs, and the spare arrangements -- works in unison to evoke the quiet river of the album's cover. With their peaceful foundation, songs like "Chi Mi Bhuam" and "Gleann Baile Chaoil" are perfectly suited for quiet moments of reflection or just plain relaxation. Matheson is joined by a number of players, including pianist Donald Shaw who also produced the album, guitarist James Grant, fiddler Aidan O'Rourke, and, in various places, several background singers, each helping to craft a seamless backdrop behind her vocals. Unless one happens to speak Gaelic, Downriver holds a certain air of mystery, because the lyrics aren't reprinted in the liner notes. The album deviates from this course in two instances with English versions of "I Will Not Wear the Willow" and "Singing in the Dark." This will probably matter little to most listeners, though some may find these deviations distracting to the flow and mystery of the album. Taken as a whole, however, Downriver is a very enjoyable effort that manages to combine the best of the old and new, and it will serve as a fine introduction to Matheson's warm vocals.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/21/2006
  • Label: Compass Records
  • UPC: 766397442525
  • Catalog Number: 4425
  • Sales rank: 82,630

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Karen Matheson Primary Artist
Dónal Lunny Bouzouki, Bodhran
James Grant Banjo, Bass, Dobro, Guitar, Mandolin, Background Vocals, E-bow
James MacKintosh Percussion, Drums
Ewen Vernal Background Vocals, Double Bass
Michael McGoldrick Pipe
Aidan O'Rourke Fiddle
Jacqui Penfold Viola
Cheryl Crockett Violin
Scottish Ensemble Strings
Jonathan Morton Violin
Technical Credits
Dónal Lunny Arranger
James Grant Composer
Karen Matheson Arranger
Paul McGeechan Engineer
Donald Shaw Audio Production
Mark Sheridan String Arrangements
Traditional Composer
James Robert Morrison Cover Design
J.M. Cameron Composer
Kevin McCrae String Arrangements
Brendan Graham Composer
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