Vic Smith of fRoots
reviews Sideways by MoiraiLook at the gig list on Jo Freya’s website and you will see that she has a full diary of appearances in a wide range of groups. Clearly, she is not a woman who is going to let health problems interfere with a busy musical life. In this, her most recent venture she is joined by two other excellent female multi-instrumentalist/ singers Sarah Matthews and Melanie Biggs. The combination brings rich variety to their debut album. There is some powerful, beefy tune playing with Jo’s saxophones matching Melanie’s melodeon, mixed in with some that are given a more reflective approach with the tunes drawn from a variety of modern and traditional European sources. The one that remains in the memory is the delightful Cellar Door Key, a three /two hornpipe closely related to the song tune of Cam Ye O’er Frae France?
The songs are also diverse in their appeal. There are a couple of light, humorous items composed by themselves and they make a fine job of Dave Walters’ setting of William Blake’s Garden Of Love, though the song that makes the biggest impact is the final track. Sarah’s Candlelight is a very fine song and the compelling three-part harmony singing does it justice.
The name Moirai comes from Greek mythology and means something along the lines of goddesses of Fate or Destiny. With the range of talents that these three display here, we can only say that this version of Moirai is destined for great things.