The Changing Room - Picking Up The Pieces

2016 studio album

Picking Up The Pieces - The Changing Room

the bright young folk review

Picking up the Pieces, is a treasure-chest of songs, reflecting the richness and vibrancy of Cornish tradition and delivered in a gem of an album, by the acclaimed Looe-based band, The Changing Room.

Horizon Award winner Sam Kelly and talented singer/song writer Tanya Brittain are joined by Jamie Francis (banjo), Evan Carson (percussion), Kevin McGuire (bass) and Morrigan Palmer Brown (harp), with legendary Scots fiddle player John McCusker guesting on many of the tracks and Belinda O’Hooley (piano) also supporting.

Rich in songs and stories of seafaring, mining, love and toil, The Changing Room breathe life into the people and places around which their tales are told. Inspiring lyrics and music abound throughout, with depth and poignancy in every track

Sam Kelly’s vocals are excellent, however in Gwrello Glaw (Let it Rain), they are absolutely beguiling. Written by Tanya Brittain, this captivating song is sung in Cornish and complemented by harp, accordion, fiddle, bass and harmonium accompaniment, which brings a rich texture to this beautiful track.

Master writer and performer Boo Hewerdine penned the enigmatic Koh-I-Noor, reflecting the transient nature of human desires. Kelly’s heartfelt vocals are supported by gentle guitar, accordion and banjo. In contrast, Brittain and Kelly give a foot-stomping delivery of Zephania Job, a tale of seafaring, smuggling and dubious business deals. Guitar, banjo and fiddle providing the driving rhythm behind this immensely enjoyable track.

At the 2015 International Pan Celtic Song Contest, Delyow Sevi won Best Traditional Song in a Celtic Language. Kelly wrote the music to these Cornish lyrics and sings it together with Brittain, who is crystal clear and ethereal in her delivery here and throughout the album. Lyrics and music coming together in a spirited Cornish traditional experience.

Tie ’em Up is a musical testament to those who fish the deep and the economic decline and regulation of this proud and noble trade. Guitar and banjo enhance the track’s rhythm and pace, capturing the passion, toils, perils and pride of a life at sea.

Picking up the Pieces is a rich mingling of songs conveyed with care and passion to reflect the Cornish tradition from which it is born. Listening and reviewing this album has been immensely enjoyable, with each of the eleven tracks carefully selected, cut and polished to create an album which dazzles and shines. This is an absolute diamond of an album from The Changing Room.

Andy McMillan

Released on 12 August 2016 on TCR Music. Executive producer Boo Hewerdine.

1. Caradon Hill
2. Zephaniah Job
3. The Grayhound
4. Bal Maiden’s Waltz
5. Gwrello Glaw
6. The Cinder Track
7. Koh-I-Noor
8. Delyow Sevi
9. We Will Remember Them
10. Tie ’Em Up
11. It’s All Downhill From Here

The Changing Room discography