ALBUM REVIEW: Patsy Matheson “Stories Of Angels & Guitars”

Patsy Matheson has come along in the 20 years since she won her first songwriting competition in 1991. With Maddy Prior and Clive Gregson highlighting her compositional credibility, Matheson focused her energies and by 1996 was ready to unleash her debut solo effort, the accomplished and critically acclaimed “With My Boots On”. Soon enough Matheson was winning over audiences at Glastonbury, but in 2003 she made the decision to form the vocal harmony group Waking The Witch and Matheson’s solo aspirations were sidelined in favour of a communal goal.

With Waking The Witch splitting in 2008, Matheson rediscovered her solo ambitions and swiftly released the sensational “Little Piece Of England”, which resulted in a constant demand for touring and allowed little time for Matheson to focus on a follow up record. However with a loyal fanbase willing to wait, the reward has finally arrived in the shape of “Stories of Angels & Guitars”. So, was the wait worth the while?

Yes is the simple answer. With a relaxed open feel, Matheson proves over the ten tracks that she is without question far more than just one of the folk world’s finest songwriters. A skilled vocalist, her relaxed style oozes crossover appeal without ever demanding it.

Though hard to pinpoint any weakness, it is easy to highlight the album’s two strongest moments. The hauntingly soothing “Hotel Rooms” induces chilblains, while the delicate opener “Under Your Wing” is beyond breathtaking.

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams

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