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LYNN MILES with Keith Glass —ROAD (Continental Song City)


Canadian-born, and much travelled, singer-songwriter Lynn Miles is one of the finest of her genre. Her beautiful vocals and lyrics coupled with the stellar playing of Keith Glass (acoustic, electric guitar, mandolin and harmony vocals) are a true delight. Miles works under the shadow of no one. She is up there alongside Eliza Gilkyson, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Rosanne Cash, her ability to express real emotional hurt, and joy too life brings place her on high perch. Road is made up of old and new live recordings covering 15 years; whether of the former or latter they all sound like old friends. In all there is 15 songs, lasting a generous 70 minutes. 


Such the staggering stream of poetic lyrics that spill forth and her caressing of them the listener is quickly taken to a peaceful and better place, and though it may only be in one’s mind it feels like another world! So quality laden the music from Miles and Glass as they complement one another as good as any duos around time and again something special unfolds. Apart from the stylish, effortless vocals of Miles you have the timbre of her voice. In many ways there is a similar, measured presence to her work akin to the aforementioned Gilkyson. Not least of the shared attributes you have the eye for detail from both.


Going through the songs there is a number I am particularly drawn to. Among the finest you have the timeless “Love Is Red”, jaunty ode “Nobody’s Angel” and with wisps of harmonica sobering ode “Surrender, Dorothy”. Another to enjoy her work of the latter is the wonderful album opener “My Road”. With tasty electric guitar and a general atmospheric feel “I’m The Moon” and “Fearless Heart” see the bar edged up a notch (Glass’ harmony vocals complement her perfectly).  


Oldies “You Don’t Love Me Anymore” and “Rust” likewise gain a run inclusion as Miles and Glass show off the full spectrum of their partnership. “Black Flowers” has a haunting feel, and is something that caught the attention of bluegrass act Claire Lynch and appears on her most recent album. Miles most sensitive and stripped down tune is jazzy ode “When My Ship Comes In”; on which she speaks of putting her back to the wind, and how though being a mess she will be calm and ready (and steady).    


                                                            Maurice Hope  

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November 2017

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