Archive for minstral

Fools and Orphans~Ninthspace album review

Posted in Fools & Orphans, Music Reviews with tags , , , , on March 1, 2009 by Sister Cleophas

Jo Gabriel: Fools and Orphans


There are moments in Bulldozer, the opening song from Jo Gabriel’s new album, when Stephanie Rearick’s trumpet heralds the words ‘why should I love you’. These brief but beautiful events mark the most striking difference between this album and its more elaborate (if not immediate) predecessor IslandFools and Orphansdraws away from traditional arrangements to let the songs breathe, and in doing so allows Jo to continue distinguishing herself from the current ’..and piano’ crowd (I like Emm Gryner’s term ‘contemporary nonsensery.’) Few artists have the ability or opportunity to be this daring (mostly down to record label pressures, no doubt) and this successful. Fools and Orphans shines from its own darkness.Kristin Hersh’s The Grotto was an album born out of loss and the resulting reflection on life and relationships. Fools and Orphans is different – its main theme is also loss, but barely offers sanctuary. The Grotto tears me apart and then rebuilds me; Fools and Orphans does the former then leaves a lingering sadness, although it’s more compelling as a result. The open arrangements, often rhythmically fluid and spontaneous are charmingly beautiful and ideal for such stories. It’s up to us to fill in the blanks, to empathise and to draw comparisons with our own lives. Continue reading


Of Love and Ether ~ Ninthspace review of track off Fools&Orphans

Posted in Fools & Orphans, Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2008 by Sister Cleophas

Jo Gabriel’s forthcoming Fools and Orphans could well turn out to be her signature album. Whilst it bears elements from her previous releases and may be open to inevitable musical comparisons, what’s exhibited in these new songs is fiercely individual and nothing short of staggering: musically inventive and lyrically impressive.

Like all of the tracks, Of Love and Ether has this paradox of richness and sparsity – in this instance bringing together a duo of string instruments (and birdsong) to join Jo’s piano and unique voice in a delicate yet powerfully emotive poem.

Fools and Orphans has an artist’s limited release from 7 May through Ephemera and will also be released in Winter 2008 through Kalinkaland.