Judith Owen - Happy This Way - County Times
25 October 2007County Times
NO DOUBT about album of the week if you listen to Judith Owen's "Happy This Way" CD and the way she weaves her 11 songs into a rich tapestry of emotion.
"Painting by Numbers" is a fine example of the way Judith blends theatrics, jazz, folk and poetry into something quite special.
The daughter of an acclaimed Welsh opera singer from Llanelli, Judith made her album debut in 1996 and has established herself in the United States with more releases and a cult following.
She has now signed to Linn Records and has been working on the "1,000 Years of Popular Music" project with English folk rock guitar hero Richard Thompson who guests on Judith's album along with Julia Fordham and Cassandra Wilson.
Cool Life is a jazzy number that has guest vocals by Ian Shaw, and other startlingly beautiful songs include the opening Conway Bay, Nicholas Drake, Carry, Happy This Way which recalls her late mother, and We're Only Human which refers to her sister Susan.
My Father's Voice completes her family songs to end the main album with Judith just on vocals and piano with double bass accompaniment by Sean Hurley before the bonus 12th track, the groovy Quantic remix of Enough featuring Cassandra Wilson.
Judith sums up the album as being her love letter to Britain and the things that sustain her when she is 6,000 miles away in America.
With echoes of Judy Collins, her voice is versatile and taps into the heart and soul making the album feel like a night at the theatre.
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