Cruel Sister

from by Kate Fletcher

/
  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    A startling collection of womanly songs, deeply original & darkly traditional. Beautifully crafted with voice, guitar, oboe, kantele & flute, & expertly produced by Robert Harbron. Wistfulness, sadness, beauty & hope. Quietly stunning.

    "... she is defiantly a solo artist, affording us an intimate glimpse into her own distinctive and private creative world.

    Hers is an unusual and intriguing soundscape, rejoicing in a subtle and unpretentious use of a variety of instrumental colours and timbres...with unobtrusive production by Robert Harbron, there's a homespun, primitive immediacy to the proceedings that's really attractive...

    Kate's songwriting is honest and succinct, understated and refreshingly non-self-indulgent,...The standout tracks for me are highly contrasted: on one hand the disturbing, stark and broodingly strange Midnight, which tells of a modern-day haunting, and on the other the comforting haven of the beautiful Beyond The Silence.

    Kate's work is quietly stunning..."

    Reviewer: David Kidman, Stirrings Magazine.

    Muse Magazine:

    "...inspiring arrangements of traditional songs. My immediate reaction to hearing the music of the Dorset songstress was very pleasurable."...."Kate's haunting vocals result in desolate and beautiful renditions."..."Kate Fletcher has created a down to earth folk album which seems to transport you outside of the confines of your home into the countryside's open spaces and rolling hills."

    Sacred Hoop Magazine:

    Kate Fletcher, a good English name for a good English singer with a considerable amount of good feel for good traditional English music flowing from her first solo CD. Her voice and style come across as very traditional folk, and four of the songs are folk songs, the rest all bar one, are written by Kate herself. She also plays most of the instruments herself too, including one I had never heard of - kantele, a Finnish plucked psaltery.

    The songs range from love songs to songs about the elements and the four directions, spells and witchcraft, Pennant valley (the shambhala of Mid Wales), and the San Bushmen. All the songs are well crafted and played, with no evidence of any self indulgence. Throughout her voice is charming and strong, and I especially like the song she wrote for Pennant, which I first heard on a day of 'wall to wall computing'. It made me stop and wonder what the hell I was doing typing a keyboard all day long.

    Reviewer: Nick Wood.

    The Druid Network:

    The blurb on this CD says it is a 'startling collection of womanly songs' and this is very much the case. Here there are spells and ballads, and each one feels wholly to be the call and cry of the female soul. Each is sung with a softly clear voice, to acoustic instruments (guitar, oboe, kantele), all played and sung by the artist except the mouth bow, played by Corwen ap Broch. There is a medieval element in places, which is where I feel she is most captivating. Other sources of inspiration are Northern European and the Kalahari, but always she is haunting in her expression of emotion - not always raw but ethereal and questioning. It is worth listening to as a whole, and some tracks are worth dissolving into completely.

    Reviewer: Emma Restall-Orr

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about

No-one ever tells you what happened to the middle sister... perhaps she ran away with the instrument maker and learnt to play the jouhikko...

lyrics

CRUEL SISTER

There lived a Lord in the North Country
With a down down derry down
And he had daughters one, two, three,
With a down down derry derry down

A young man came a-courting there
And he won the heart of the youngest fair

He gave the youngest a golden ring
But he didn't give the eldest anything

O sister come let us walk out
And see the ships that sail about

As they walked down by the salty brim
The eldest pushed the youngest in

O sister lend to me your hand
And I will give you house and land

I'll neither lend you hand nor glove
But I will have your own true love

There she floated like a swan
And the salt sea bore her body on

A harper walked along the strand
And he saw her body float to land

He made a harp of her breast bone
And its song would melt a heart of stone

Then he came to her father's hall
To play the harp before them all

But as he laid it on a stone
The harp began to play alone

The first string sang a doleful sound
Of how the bride her sister drowned

The second string, when he tried
In terror sits the guilty bride

The third string sang beneath his bow
And surely now her tears will flow

credits

from Fruit, released January 1, 2007
trad arr Kate Fletcher

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about

Kate Fletcher & Corwen Broch Scotland, UK

Kate was raised on porridge and song in a family of eccentric musicians in Reading. Wrote my first song at 19. Bought a Narrowboat to live on. Everyone said it was a phase. I still have the boat.

Corwen grew up in Dorset with his grandparents who were The Last Of The Victorians. He was instilled with a love of spartan living, open fires and outside toilets.

They make beautiful music together!
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