Niamh Parsons & Graham Dunne - Kind Providence: dark gems
Niamh Parsons & Graham Dunne
Bold brush strokes distinguish this latest recording from Dublin singer Niamh Parsons and regular guitar accompanist Graham Dunne.
Her earthy vocals are shot through with a smoky undertow that captures the darker corners of her songbook. And that songbook has a few treasures lurking within.
The Slave’s Lament, from a collection published in 1792 edited by Robbie Burns, is a sharp-sided account of slavery that would make a perfect companion piece to Randy Newman’s Sail Away.
It is rendered all the more affecting by Dunne’s inventive jazz-tinged arrangements.
Parsons’ decision to include the over-familiar Carrickfergus strikes the only dud note, but her reading of Willie O crystallises the fact that she’s the conduit, not the gatekeeper of a song.