The Pilgrim Soul
The Valley of Strathmore
The Pilgrim Soul
On Cold Ground
When I Was On Horseback
The Murder of Maria Marten
King of Prussia
Who Is At My Window Weeping?
Maddie - piano, keyboards, harmonica & all vocals
Katherine Martin - cello
Stevie Lawrence - guitars, bouzouki, high & low whistles, percussion
Mike France - bass
Nancy Kerr - fiddle
Karen Tweed - accordion
Chris James - slide guitar
Linda Adams & Robert Hallard - backing vocals (tracks 2,7 &8)
Produced by Paul Adams & Maddie Southorn
Tracks 1,2,3,6 & 8 written and arranged by Maddie Southorn. Fellsongs Publishing 2005
Track 4 Andy M Stewart, Strathmore Music
Tracks 5 Southorn/Trad
Tracks 7,9 & 11 Trad.arr.Southorn
Track 10 Michael Southorn. Copyright Control
What People Said...
"One of the best albums of 2005. A real gem." Mike Harding, Radio 2
"Maddie Southorn, a relative newcomer to the UK folk scene, has a definite Celtic feel to her second album, 'The Pilgrim Soul'. So, it came as quite a surprise to discover that Maddie is Bristol-based and West Country born and was raised on an eclectic musical diet of traditional folk, heavy metal, 1960's pop and Hollywood show tunes.
She possesses a pure-toned voice, is a talented keyboardist, and whether performing her own self-penned songs or reviving traditional tunes, comes across as authentically traditional.
With instrumental support from the likes of Katherine Martin (cello), Stevie Lawrence (guitars, bouzouki, whistles), Nancy Kerr (fiddle), Karen Tweed (accordion), Chris James (slide guitar), Mike France (bass) and Maddie herself on keyboards and harmonica, there is an excellent comtemporary slant on the folk tradition." Alan Cackett, Maverick
"Bristol-based singer-songwriter Maddie finally emerged onto the recording scene a couple of years ago with a very classy debut CD Unlikely Prom Queen, which showed her to be a superb singer, a quite special songwriter and a mature and capable arranger. She then released an EP, Hollow, which I've not yet managed to track down. But for her second full-length album, recorded for the award-winning Fellside label (that in itself should be taken as an indication of high quality!), Maddie has taken a step further into folkdom by including within the album's 11 tracks her own interpretations of three traditional songs and one folk standard. The latter is Andy M. Stewart's The Valley Of Strathmore, which is given a fine, emotionally poised reading of almost classical purity that displays real understanding. Maddie's decision to perform When I Was On Horseback was a brave one, as it will unavoidably invite comparison with the classic Steeleye recording by “the other Maddie” (well OK, Ms. Prior does spell her name differently!), but this Maddie emerges extremely credibly from the exercise. She also brings a cinematic sweep to the ballad of The Murder Of Maria Marten, and her more episodic treatment of Who Is At My Window Weeping? works really well. As for the self-penned songs, well I find some of them tremendously captivating: the opening Roanoake is a mysterious tale set in late-16th-Century North Carolina, whereas the lengthier Misery Point, the album's centrepiece, is a haunting and hypnotic composition with a strong rhythmic drive – one of those modern-day ballads that fully deserves to “enter the tradition”. Other high-points include the wonderfully atmospheric On Cold Ground and the title track. I can't quite connect with one or two of the remaining songs though, for reasons I'm at a loss to pinpoint with any degree of accuracy; perhaps it's a hint of blandness that springs from a relative lack of distinction in their melody-lines. But back to the album's many strengths now – Maddie's voice is every bit as impressive as I remember it from her debut; warm and powerful, with a very good and consistently strong range, and well suited to her writing style and choice of material. She has an excellent command of melody which she uses as a means of communicating and furthering a narrative, and at times her phrasing carries distinct echoes of both Annie Haslam and Kate Bush (without the quirks!). Generally speaking, too, her performing style carries resonances of the folkier end of early prog-rock (without the overkill element!). Finally, but no less importantly, I can't let this review finish without paying tribute to Maddie's supporting musicians, who prove far more than merely that. The refined and sensitive yet deeply felt cello playing of Maddie's long-time musical collaborator (and current touring partner) Katherine Martin forms a potent and fairly constant signature sound on many of the tracks alongside Maddie's own piano, while Stevie Lawrence's tastefully-employed guitars, bouzouki and whistles add even greater texture. There are also some spine-tingling individual instrumental contributions from (among others) Chris James (some wonderfully rootsy slide-guitar on On Cold Ground), Nancy Kerr (fiddle) and Karen Tweed (accordion). All in all, this is an absorbing and compelling release which surely gives us proof positive that Maddie's a creative force to be reckoned with; and hopefully she'll be here to stay!" David Kidman, Net Rhythms
"Maddie Southorn was a new name to me and what a joyous revelation this CD is. The album is a mix of self-penned and traditional songs and she has crafted the words of her own songs so that they are linguistically at one with the stories they are telling. Lexis, semantics, grammar and syntax vary according to the time in which the songs are set, so there is never a sense of false archaism in the modern songs, nor incongruous colloquialism in the ones set in times long ago. The words in fact work very well as poems read aloud, amd although not overly decorated with figurative language there are many well-turned and finely wrought phrases with a nice exactness. This is a CD of great musical integrity, of substance and control. The accompaniments, all by well-known and accomplished musicians in their own right, are complementary at all times to a voice which I found captivating." Belinda Hakes, Stirrings