Ian Croft of R2
reviews Sideways by MoiraiMoirai is a new trio combining the talents of three folk stalwarts Jo Freya, Melanie Biggs and Sarah Matthews. With a running time of nearly an hour, Sideways offers equal doses of songs and tunes, about half of them self composed, with their good voices supported by Jo's sax/ clarinet, Mel's melodeon and Sarah's violin.
The songs are a quirky lot with an enticing mix of wit and warmth. 'Sideways' tells of Jo's trauma caused by going 'to school with me knickers on sideways'. Another of her songs satirises B&B regulations. 'Garden Of Love' is a lovely song from the Fraser Sisters repertoire, with words by William Blake and a smashing tune by Dave Walters. This is dedicated to Ralph Jordan, and Sarah's 'Candlelight' with the chorus 'bring peace and calm in the night' has a dedication to Maggie Boyle. But this is defiantly not a maudlin album.
The tunes are full of good melodies, some of them rather unusual, and there is a distinct European dimension with bourrees, a mazurka and more. Without rhythm or bass instruments, there's constant interweaving around the melody line, and as you'd expect from such musicians, it is all highly skilled and very listenable.