Leaving Inverarden


Folk Era Records
705 S. Washington Street
Naperville, IL 60540-0782

A review for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
By Judith Gennett (judith@bihs.net) Bryan, TX KEOS Community Radio


Tamarack- Molly Kurvink, Alex Sinclair, and James Gordon- write and sing stories about Canada's past. "Leaving Inverarden," their eleventh (!) album, contains a range of styles: some songs are arranged in traditional fashion, others have a more contemporary feel, but all tell brief tales of Canadian life and history.

Shaking my own personal sieve, the more traditional fall through. The jaunty title track, "Leaving Inverarden," is about John McDonald, partner in the North West Company, in his later years. "At night I hear the eagle calling me back to the wilds once more," dreams John. His sister, Magdalen, had the misfortune to marry one of John's partners, who remained loyal to his Metis Indian wife at Fort William, hence the bitter lamentations of "Magdalen McGillivray," skipping out to Scotland. A stark "Banks of the Rocky Saugeen" is another lament, for a son lost in 1930 in flash flooding. "The Pride of Muskoka" is a sturdy a cappella choral piece about the Segwun, last of the passenger steamers.

Most interesting are Kurvink's vocals. Kurvink was formerly a Guelph-Detroit roots rock singer. Though her style can sometimes be sweet, it can also very effectively mirror the blue weariness of women who have been through too much living hell. Gordon offers strong North Woods vocals concerning iron mastering and boats. Sinclair's blunt home style French sets a nicely dazed edge on war and death on the only real traditional track, "Le Sergent." Sinclair's acoustic guitar also forms the base for the very folky accompaniment; Gordon's pennywhistle, accordion, mandolin and dulcimer add spice.

"Leaving Invararden" is a lovely recording.

Copyright by Three Rivers Folklife Society, 1996.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission.

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