Music Review-Laura McGhee


Life is Bigger than a Dream

Laura McGhee is a Scottish singer and fiddle player who has crossed the Atlantic both geographically and culturally to make this album. Originally from Angus, and having studied at the Scottish Academy of Music, she is now back home to launch her album after seven years in Nashville, where she has been writing, touring and recording. Her work with other acclaimed Nashville musicians really shows in this album, and the skilful recording and mixing of Mike Loudermilk has created a beautiful and well-balanced sound throughout.

The album has a warm rounded folksy American tone to it and is lifted to excellence by some lovely fiddle playing, both bluegrassy and Celtic. All credit is due to Laura as she is both the writer of much of the material, the singer, and also the fiddle player.

This CD contains mostly new material; apart from one tight and tidy version of an American instrumental classic, ‘Salt Creek’.

The first four are collaborations with Doug Kahan, including the title track.  These tracks are notably lighter and more commercial, and are great hooky numbers. Personally I preferred some of the material later in the album, especially ‘You Make the Moonshine’ which has a darker tone, and the more complex ‘I got my Mojo Back’.

Laura’s sound and lyrics are constantly referencing the great tradition of strong women country singers, whilst adding some nice more contemporary touches, the latter especially evident in songs such as ‘Shoulda come Over’.

Tonal variety comes at the start of ‘How Leaving Feels’ which begins with a slow bluesy intro and then kicks into gear as a properly upbeat track. The more Celtic touches were lovely and evocative and for me Laura is most interesting when the fusion of Americana and Scottish is at its closest.

‘Life is Bigger than a Dream’ also features some great support from Mike Loudermilk on guitars, mandolin, bass and vocals, Charlie McCoy on harmonica and vibes and Allison Bencar on backing vocals.

Laura has used crowd funding to complete this album. She and her many fans should be very happy with the result. The official launch concert will be in Monifieth Theatre, 72 High Street, Monifieth DD54AG on October 7th 2017.

The album is now available to download from Amazon and itunes.

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Here is a track from a previous album you might enjoy.

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