Sally Spring 'Made Of Stars' Sniffinpup

A strong songwriter and singer this is Spring's follow up to 2006's Mockingbird release and it is a good one. Produced by Ted Lyons, who also plays drums and guitars has palced Spring at the centre of the music allowing both her voice and her songs the focus that they require. This is also highlighted by the albums cover choices which include a striking, slow paced version of Johnny Cash's much covered I Still Miss Someone which is one of the best given the way it gets the deep loss of the song across in a powerful way. Short Side of Nothing is a Los Lobs songs and there is a live version of Willie Dixon's It Don't Make Sense. But it says a lot for Spring's own songs that they stand up next such an cherished song. Her song Mercy is something that is on a par with Mary Gauthier as indeed are many of her other songs which make it a rounded and reflective album. Her voice reminds a little of Natalie Merchant but is distinctive in itself and delivers there often mournful but uplifting songs with confidence and heart. The band also includes James Masteo of the Bongos and ex-Joe Jackson bassist Graham Maby. Those adding the harmonies include Caitlin Cary, Gurf Molix, Susan Cowsill and producer Lyons. The musical textures include strings, keyboards and accordion over a core of guitar, bass and drum as appropriate. All of which makes this an album that is made by stars and one that shines bright