Having worked with Alison in a live capacity, I have always enjoyed her reference points – vocally displaying the crystalline qualities of artists such as Joni Mitchell or Vashti Bunyan and musically encompassing the same spacious dexterity that made Martin Carthy’s music so engaging. Erring, here at least, more towards pastoral English folk than the New World sounds that also creep into her music, Passing Song is a song full of pathos and delicacy.

The song is based on the personal yet not uncommon experience of losing friends to the Covid pandemic and the enforced separation that meant that we could only watch from afar rather than gather to mark their passing with the appropriate level of dignity and decorum.

Such a heartfelt sentiment can only be backed up by music built of similar sentiment. So, Alison’s gorgeous vocals, a sound that resonates with timeless folk traditions, coupled with her chiming cascades of finger-picked notes, is the perfect musical vehicle to reflect the subject matter.

But more than just a great song, one with a relatable and poignant message, it is a song built around an act of pure altruism, and any money raised from its sale will go to the Covid-19 Bereaved Families For Justice group whose efforts ensure that the right people have a voice at any future public enquiries.

Folk music has always matched difficult subjects with sublime music; Passing Song follows very much in that worthy and essential tradition.

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