Scarborough Fair  –  Shauna Burns (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

21617870_10155007789608697_2412374213061395244_nI generally make a point of avoiding covers, standards, traditional, pre-loved songs…call them what you will, preferring to put my efforts into trying to dissect and discover the inner workings of new music, but when something this gorgeous comes along, how can you just pass it over and get stuck into the next three chord, skinny-jeaned indie hopefuls?

It’s a song that we all know well, from versions by expected folk sources such as Pentangle and perhaps the most famous Simon and Garfunkel rendition but also finding its way into the songs by The Stone Roses amongst others. What Shauna Burns does so well here is restore the song to its ethereal grace and Renaissance settings, through brave use of space and lilting harp albeit with an updated piano line built on deft neo-classical elegance. And of course the bottom line is that it is a truly lovely addition to the musical archive of artists who have covered the song and just like Jacqui McPhee whose voice graced the aforementioned Pentangle version, Shauna’s is similarly build of the same light and dexterity often adopting some more jazz like phrasing rather than the standard folk delivery to interesting affect.

If you are going to cover such a famous and well-travelled song then you really do need to bring something new to the musical table. Thankfully Shauna Burns serves up not only a sumptuous musical meal, it is one which more than satisfies the appetite.

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