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Amy Duncan

Pilgrimage

(Plain Recordings; US: 28 Nov 2006; UK: 14 Nov 2006)

Amy Duncan won’t bowl you over with a strong voice, but there’s an almost jazzy quality in her British folk/singer-songwriter songs that makes you want to hear much more than the eight impressive songs here. Beginning with the haunting and lovely “Wonderful Friend”, Duncan sounds like a cross between Emmylou Harris, Kate Rusby, and Jane Siberry all rolled up into one. Just as fragile but brilliant is the piano-driven nugget “You See (Right In)”, which morphs into something almost ethereal. However, it’s only during “Walk Away” that she truly opens up her pipes, and what comes out is magical, a sweet but strong number that has some whispering or idle chatter in the distant background. Duncan rarely strays from this strength on the slow and somewhat lengthy “I Surrender” and the bittersweet, melancholic “The Only Sound”. It’s an extremely delicate, angelic, and precious voice, one that should not be lost in any shuffle, iPod or otherwise.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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