Soundchecks Music Reviews
THE ROAD TO SANTIAGO
review by Michael Lohr
Heather Dale is without a doubt, the most talented, yet obscure Celtic and world music singer performing today. But that is about to change. I recently interviewed her for Renaissance Magazine and she was utterly fascinating. She has been favourably compared to Loreena McKennitt and Sarah McLachlan, but while her previous records (she has four previous releases) focus mostly on Arthurian legend, Robin Hood and such folk tales, The Road To Santiago is a diverse, multifaceted record. Yes there are Celtic textures throughout, but Dale is of Celtic heritage, so that is to be expected.
On The Road To Santiago Dale explores Medieval Greek, Spanish and Italian folk tales, British legends, Native American myths and Caribbean musical styles. There's even a taste of jazz and blues piano to be found. Songs The Greyhound and Flowers Of Bermuda are perfect examples the tragic sea ballad called shanteys. While the songs Hunter and Adrift are breathtaking tunes about love and loss. The song Up Into The Pear Tree is a bouncy ditty based upon a book of 14th century Italian folk tales. The title track is a Celtic/ Spanish romp that explores the world of Galicia, the Celtic province of Spain. One of the more intriguing songs on The Road To Santiago is Sedna. This song is a haunting melody about the Inuit goddess of creation. Sedna along with the song Black Fox are the two best tracks on the record and each song by itself would be reason enough alone to buy this record.
The Road To Santiago was produced by Dale herself with assistance from Paul Mills, who has worked with such international acts as Natalie MacMaster and Tanglefoot. The production is clear, crisp and does not take away from the music. This is a fantastic record and Heather Dale may indeed be the heir apparent to the throne of Loreena McKennitt, though I would prefer to think that she is forging the foundations of her own kingdom.
If you love high quality Celtic, folk and world music then do yourself a favor get a copy of The Road To Santiago, you will enjoy it immensely.
for PIGASUS Press