Here’s what’s been said so far about Pour Me A Drink:
Edwina Hayes – Pour Me a Drink By Steve Rudd www.thisisull.com
A marked departure from her debut album, Edwina’s follow-up to Out On My Own sees her presenting a far more intimate collection of songs. For the most part it’s just her and her acoustic guitar.
Save for appearances from Carissa Broadwater and guitarist Jake McKeague, guest musicians this time around are few and far between, yet Pour Me A Drink triumphs so defiantly because there’s quite simply nothing to distract the listener from the breathtaking range of Edwina’s voice.
The gently finger-picked and strummed melodies are appropriately fragile, lending a rare strain of melancholy to her songs that make them devastatingly moving. Honesty is always the best policy, and Edwina evidently realizes as much. Her lovelorn lyrics cut straight to the bone, with the exquisite Run – co-written with Carissa Broadwater – opening proceedings.
The aching and longing that pervades Leave A Light on For You has been captured perfectly, while Edwina’s cover of Richard Thompson’s Waltzing’s For Dreamers proves just how skilled she is at interpreting other people’s songs. Indeed, Edwina made the conscious decision to include a couple of covers on Pour Me A Drink in order to make the release better reflect her live shows: she often slips songs, by all manner of Country and Folk singers into her sets. A corking rendition of the traditional Froggie Went A Courting also makes its presence felt.
Season Of Love, Call Me and the title track itself are further examples of emotion-packed songwriting at its finest. Heartbreakingly introspective yet emotionally uplifting, Edwina crafts songs that never fail to touch a nerve. Having written songs inspired by personal experience from time spent living in the United States and the UK, she allows her voice to breathe life into her lyrics with a maddening passion, knowing when to adjust the pace and mood of her graceful melodies accordingly.
Pretty Lady is something of a surprise, subtly edging into Acoustic-Pop territory through being so catchy, yet it’s the final track, her sublime Irish Waltz, that’s the icing on the cake. Given that Edwina’s previously lived in Nashville, Americana music has naturally had a huge impact on the type of songs she pens.
Fortunately, this results in Edwina’s music being a winsomely original blend of genres, anchored as always by her distinctive voice that could have the likes of Alison Krauss and Kate Rusby weeping into their mics were they to hear it. Released on her own label, Twirly Music, Pour Me A Drink is destined to attract new fans aplenty. What’s more, her dazzling cover version of Randy Newman’s Feels Like Home is set to feature in a future episode of Smallville. So listen out…
Pour Me A Drink (Twirly Records, 2008) by Edwina Hayes
Edwina Hayes’ second album, Pour Me A Drink, finds her eschewing the highly produced sound of her debut release for a delightfully intimate, acoustic offering. The decision to record a stripped-back sound pays dividends on Hayes’ exquisite self-penned material, allowing plenty of room for Hayes’ gentle guitar picking and unrelentingly beautiful voice. The gentle melancholy of Hayes’ mellow folk-pop couldn’t sound better.
Songs like “Run” and “I Won’t Say Your Name” positively ache with the weight of longing and sorrow, though Hayes’ sublime vocals ensure that it’s a bittersweet affair throughout, with the unerring comfort of her sweet tones. The title track is a delicious bluesy saunter that wears its world-weary heart well and truly on its sleeve, with a refrain that almost sighs with resignation: “Pour me a drink / light me a cigarette / help me forget / the things that I’ve done.”
In a nice touch, the last pages of the CD booklet are scattered with the names of an assortment of Hayes’ favourite artists, ranging from the likes of Van Morrison and Nanci Griffith to those who are still paying their dues in folk clubs up and down the country. Hayes also nods towards the influence of others with the inclusion of a couple of covers: Randy Newman’s “Feels Like Home” and a heartbreaking interpretation of Richard Thompson’s “Waltzing’s For Dreamers.” A somewhat playful rendition of the traditional song, “Froggie Went A Courting,” also appears.
For those already familiar with Hayes’ winsome writing talents and seductive vocals, Pour Me A Drink provides the opportunity to fall in love all over again; for those discovering Hayes for the first time, it will surely be a case of love at first sight.
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