Raised By Wolves
Fiddle Head Records
Canny, Individual and Very Imaginative Folk Songs.
Even I; as a non-believer in the Folk idiom rather liked Jenny Ritter’s previous album Bright Mainland in 2012; and nothing here has changed my mind. In fact Jenny’s crystal clear voice has possibly become even ‘easier on the ear’ and it’s fair to say she has used the time wisely; honing her song-writing craft to an even higher level.
Some rather nifty banjo playing opens the album on Museum Song; and Jenny’s voice sounds like an aural hug on a cold Winter’s evening.
The title Raised By Wolves makes an appearance in the delightfully imaginative Wolf Wife. Here Jenny lets would be suitors know she won’t be a ‘pushover’ as she was ‘raised by wolves/so I will be a wolf wife/with a taste for the fight.’ Hopefully not to be taken literally; but then again I do know a couple of women that this could apply to!
A couple of years ago I once suffered from ‘banjo fatigue,’ when nearly every album that I heard, had this much maligned instrument in there somewhere; but lately I’ve come to really appreciate a well played Claw-hammer (it must be an age thing); and here; especially on the instrumental Slide Mountain; alongside some gorgeous fiddle and guitar playing it has an almost mystical quality. No; really.
Raised By Wolves is another album that is best heard in one sitting; but if forced I would point you to Been So Kind and the album closer, Lost and Found for two tracks that get to the heart of this delightfully quaint album.
Presumably not every Canadian singer-songwriter is this good; but they do seem to have a conveyor belt that churns them out on a regular basis; with Jenny Ritter being another who has a freshness and sparkle to her words and delivery that only ever seems to come out of that beautiful country.
Released September 2015