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Ruth Moody
The Garden
Review By Steven Stone
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  On The Garden Ruth Moody, a founding member of the folk group The Wailin' Jennys, asserts her musical individuality. Using a cast of twenty-seven musicians Moody embraces a wide breadth of musical genres – old timey, Celtic, and even sensual pop.

Moody wrote all the songs on The Garden. Although it's not a concept album, most of the songs do have a certain affinity, perhaps because they were all formed during a summer in Manitoba where Moody and the album's producer, David Travers-Smith, recorded demos for the project. For me, it's a toss-up whether Moody's voice or her songs are the principal stars. Travers-Smith's arrangements, although dense at times, keep the focus on Moody's vocals, and several of the tunes have a gossamer-like quality to their melodies that few other vocalists could deliver successfully.

But Moody doesn't merely sing the lead vocals and write the songs on The Garden. No, that would be too easy. She also plays acoustic guitar, banjo, piano, ukulele, and accordion throughout the album. Moody's chops, especially on guitar, are impressive. On the song "Valentine," Moody backs up her vocals with nothing more than an elegant finger-picked acoustic guitar part.

Obviously, it's not a big stretch to recommend this album to any Wailin' Jennys fans in the audience, but even old rockers, clutching their old Joni Mitchell and Fleetwood Mac albums, will find The Garden as musically enticing as a ripe, red pomegranate.

 

 

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