Friday, 4 July 2014

Review: Edwina Hayes - Pour Me a Drink

 Hello, readers!

 You may remember that I have been to two Nanci Griffith tribute concerts in Southport - one in 2013 and one in 2014. Both times, Edwina Hayes was present and I had the privilege of hearing her beautiful and unique voice. Both times, I also met her - last time, I literally ran into her - and she was lovely.

 So, it is a great pleasure to be able to listen to and review her album Pour Me a Drink. Released in 2008, it is Edwina's second solo album.

 I must begin by commenting on its beautiful artwork: it is incredibly pretty and I feel that the blossoms decorating both the cover and some of the inside pages of the sleeve represent the album really well: the songs are soft, delicate and fragile like blossoms, yet also very strong, as is a cherry tree.

 The album opens with Run, a rather dark, sad song which I personally would not have chosen as an opener but which is very good nonetheless. The next track is one of my favourites, Leave a Light on for You, which is simple but very sweet and for me is reminiscent of a Nanci Griffith song.

 Season of Love is more bluegrass and I like it, especially the chorus.Very American-sounding. Call Me flows in the same vein as Leave a Light on for You and is similarly sweet and delicate. One of several songs on the album written by Edwina alone rather than in collaboration, it is a good example of her song writing - a simple but beautiful song about a never-ending love.

 The title track, which I saw Edwina perform live in Southport, is slow and haunting and very sad. It's followed by her take on the traditional Froggie Went a Courting, which is smooth and pleasant to listen to and has a happy ending!

 Edwina's cover of Randy Newman's Feels Like Home is the first song I heard her sing, due to its use in the film version of My Sister's Keeper. It also became very important to me when I moved from one University hall of residence to another and felt much more at home in the second one. I kept playing this song in my head and I now associate it with that time.

 It is a marvel in that it manages to be smooth and very easy on the ear while being extremely raw and emotional. It is probably still my absolute favourite of her songs, although I have discovered several new favourites on this album.

 The album ends with Irish Waltz, a lovely piece that sounds genuinely like it could have been written centuries ago in Ireland unlike certain other modern pieces designed to sound so that don't. Edwina's voice is always lovely but here it is divine, and Jack McKeague's guitar work and especially his dobro work are stunning. It is a wonderful end to the album.

 I enjoyed this album. While most of the songs are quite similar in that they are simple, delicate love songs with an acoustic guitar, each one does create its own unique ambience. Edwina's guitar work is very nice and her voice is gorgeous.

 As a writer, one measure of what I think is a good song is one that I would use in a film of one of my books. I would certainly consider this for both Leave a Light on for You and Edwina's version of Feels Like Home (although the latter has already been done).

 Overall, a lovely album and one which I am sure I will listen to a great deal.

 Rating: 8/10

 Thanks for reading,

 Liz x


  1. Hi Liz. I love this review. I am a big fan of Edwina Hayes and have most of her albums. I have also seen her live at the Ship in at Lowdham, nr. Nottingham and she was brilliant!!! :-) x

    1. Hi Elaine, thank you so much, I'm glad you liked my review. I only really discovered Edwina last year but am already a big fan :)