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Extract of an album review by Marc Higgins
River to Sea from Tlell to Tiree, by Sheila K Cameron
This striking album is a collaboration between singer songwriter Sheila K Cameron and John Saich and Mags Russell of Argyll’s Wild Biscuit productions.
In 2016 they collaborated on an album called More Like a River than a Road. These songs were associated with the Tlell River on Hai Gwaii in Canada. These tracks, with a selection of later collaborations, make up River to Sea from Tlell to Tiree. The title documents Sheila’s journey from the coast of Canada to Tiree, where the track All You Really Need is the Sea was written.
This artist is probably best described as a folk blues singer. She has the sharply observing, descriptive eye of the classic singer songwriter troubadour and while her voice is given gravitas and character by time, she swings and has the timing of the blues singer.
Wild Biscuit’s musical accompaniment gives Sheila’s characterful voice depth and presence. The menacing guitar on I’ve Waited a Long Time and the atmospheric double bass and keyboards on Where the Pebbles Grind and Scrape complement Cameron’s lyrics and singing.
Remembering Mr Toast is an atmospheric and evocative, less bombastic or overblown Scottish Jim Morrison, finding real beauty in a melancholic memory. The delicate hesitant guitar and reflective lyrics continue on Don’t Sigh and Go on Then, beautiful, bitter sweet country love songs. All You Really Need is the Sea and Deep and Real are spiritual songs, again moving between an intimate relationship to consider the huge landscape and the restorative natural world.
Is it blues, country, easy listening, folk or poetry set to delicate sympathetic music? It doesn’t matter. Close your eyes, listen to Sheila’s rich voice, with its cadence and rhythm. Enjoy the flow of words and the pictures they conjure on this warm and captivating set of recordings.