Friday, November 2, 2018

Review of Lori Llyn's "Glastonbury"

I posted this review a few minutes ago on the Sputnik Music website:

Review Summary: Medieval folk music rooted in Arthurian legend.

Lori Llyn (aka Lori Schneider) has demonstrated a variety of interests and influences throughout her musical career. In the mid-1990's, she was known throughout Long Island as one half of the acoustic duo Crystal Rose. In 2004, she showed her progressive rock influences with the release of Legend: A Knight's Opera, a romantic rock opera detailing the exploits of the French Knight Treseblu. In 2007, she released an album of sitar music called Evergreen Heart. Since that time, she has participated in a pagan folk duo known as Afalarian (although the only music ever actually released from that project was a single called "The Loom"), and begun recording solo music under the moniker of Lori Llyn. The Glastonbury EP is her second release under this name, following upon her 2015 full-length album Motherland.

Glastonbury is what I would call medieval folk music. It's a 4-song EP rooted firmly in Arthurian legend, with songs referencing Avalon, the Lady of the Lake, etc. But while the ideas might harken back to projects such as Rick Wakeman's The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, the music here is quieter, and more firmly grounded in the period. 

The songs are ethereal, and quite beautiful. In addition to her always-lovely vocals, Llyn contributes acoustic guitar, keyboards and flute to the effort. She is joined by her former Crystal Rose partner Jodi Wexler, who provides backing vocals on two of the tracks, and by Long Island guitar legend Bob Westcott, who in addition to adding both acoustic and electric guitars, co-wrote the title track with Ms. Llyn. Percussionist Akiva the Believer and cellist Jenny Flaum round out the musical lineup.

My only criticism of Glastonbury is that it's too short. I'd have loved for this to have been a full-length album. It contains a lot of elements that I love in my music -- elegant vocals (and vocal harmonies), delicate and interesting instrumentation, and spiritual and mystical lyrics. If you're a fan of bands such as Blackmore's Knight or Steeleye Span, I'd suggest you give this one a try.

Rating: 3.5 stars