Sally Doherty & The Sumacs – Edge of Spring

My first acquintance with Sally Doherty was when she was a member of Sol Invictus. Later I discovered the solo oeuvre of this singer and musician from Sheffield. Edge of Spring is a lovingly assembled collection of songs from the last decade. It contains songs from five albums by Sally Doherty and her Sumacs, as well as two unreleased songs.

The music of Sally Doherty cannot be caught in a simple description. She mixes neo-classical, folk, pop and jazzy elements. Sally has a warm voice and is a gifted flute player. She is assisted by the three Sumac girls on piano, violin and cello. The many guest musicians contribute loads of other (mainly acoustic/classical) instruments, which results in a rich musical sound. The songs are usualy quite tranquil and laid-back. Ideal music for a relaxing afternoon with a pot of herbal tea.

Among the 17 songs are two atmospheric tracks from the fine albumEmpire of Death, a soundtrack which Doherty made for a BBC series. I really like it when she gives her own twist to traditional songs, like ‘Low Lowlands of Holland’. Of the unreleased material ‘O Caminho’ is noteworthy because of its latin influences, a style in which Sally is active more often with other projects. I really like the moving ‘An Open Boat’, which is a subtle piano ballad. If you were not familair with Sally Doherty’s work yet, this collection of songs is a pleasant introduction.

artist: Doherty, Sally
label: Shayo Records
details: cd, 17 tracks, 2006 [Shayo 008]