South northward

The "official" parts of this release are the songs "Virginia" and "Southern Soul." The other five songs were recorded live in one take and are relatively unadorned. According to Gallagher's Bandcamp site, they are available with the first two songs for a limited time. And while the two "studio" songs are great, I hope the "bonus" tracks remain available. They're great, too.

Tanya Gallagher
Gallagher writes songs in the classic Mary Chapin-Carpenter style, stories and confessionals that have enough wry perspective to steer well clear of mawkishness. Her voice is strong, supple and assured. She sounds like she knows herself and her music quite well.

This isn't exactly her main gig; she relocated to British Columbia a while back to get a PhD in forestry. That's not a bad "side" job for a folk singer. And while her professional interest may be trees, she sings about the beauty in people.

Rather than delve into the darker parts of the human psyche, Gallagher is in more of a contemplatively celebratory mood here. I have no doubt that she can sling doom with the best of them, but this set is one of hope and joy. We could use a whole lot of that right now.

Jon Worley

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