Album Review | English Electric Recordings | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5
It’s always particularly sad when a record drops through the letterbox from a singer or musician who has recently left us and is unable to see the fruits of their labour, simply because their time ran out far too early. Before her untimely death in July, the former singer with both Fairport Convention and Trader Horne, teamed up with Prog outfit Big Big Train’s David Longdon for an ambitious album made up of seven lengthy Prog-like songs, each featuring Judy’s lyrics and David’s musical arrangements.
Taking the album’s title from a phrase used by a friend to describe where magic happens, Judy embarked on this project, which she had hoped would come to fruition after first seeing David perform with his band five years earlier. Suspecting this would be her final album after contracting cancer, the singer remained optimistic and focused throughout and the album stands as a fine swan song, especially for a woman who set out content with the notion of becoming a librarian. Recorded at both Real World Studios and Playpen Studios in both Wiltshire and Bristol respectively, Between a Breath and a Breathe features some powerful themes, from Astrology, obedience, coming to terms with loss and optimism, each handled with a delicate touch and helped along by a cast of fine musicians, including David’s Big Big Train band mates and is produced by David Longdon and mixed by Patrick Phillips.
Choice Track: Tidying Away the Pieces (NSV 511)