WHEN I popped Cara Dillon’s self-titled album into my car CD player many years ago, I remember being instantly charmed by the beauty of her voice and the magic she weaves with timeless romantic lyrics.
Stories of love and loss, honour and duty and the magic of nature were conjured by with arrangement of traditional folk songs with clean, unfussy production — and that stunning voice, of course.
Fast forward to 2017 and I was back there again, this time thanks to the equally serene Wanderer.
Nature plays its full part once again, largely in the form of rivers, streams, seas and oceans meandering through and surrounding Dillon’s native Ireland, which feature heavily in the lyrics.
Back in harness with her producer/accompanist/husband Sam Lakeman, Dillon transports the listener to a bygone age when banging beats, screeching guitars and even running water were a world away.
For the most part, iti is just Dillon, backed mainly by Lakeman on piano and acoustic guitar, telling stories and setting scenes with song.
Among the many collaborators who make their presence felt without bidding for scene-stealing is Scottish singer Kris Drever, whose 2016 If Wishes Were Horses was somewhat underwhelming.
His duet with Dillon, Sailor Boy, is the standout track on an album full of treats.
As winter draws on, Wanderer is the perfect album to curl up with, whisking you away from the noise and frenzy of modern life to a simpler, gentler, time and place.
q Cara Dillion plays Sheffield City Hall on December 10 as part of her Upon a Winter’s Night tour. Visit www.caradillon.co.uk for more details.