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Waiting for the Wind to Rise - Shelagh McDonald

Keith Tippett's first appearance on vinyl - as far as I can tell - was on the first album by Shelagh McDonald called simply "Album". Born in Edinburgh and brought up in Glasgow, paradoxically Shelagh's singing always seems to be redolent of the highlands and islands and other far places north of the border.

She released "Album" in 1970, following it up a year later with "Stargazer". Both records are exquisite, the music feels delicate and precious. Shortly after the release of "Stargazer" she disappeared, seemingly off the face of the earth. None of her former associates in the music business knew where she had gone. She turned up 35 years later, walking into a newspaper office in Glasgow, to reveal that she had become a recluse after a bad LSD trip which ruined her voice and gave her mental health problems. Since her return to public life, her voice having recovered, she has played some gigs and recorded a new album. This track is from her first, "Album", way back in 1970.

"....Recently I visited the old town for the day.

all the people that I'd known had married or gone away.

The place still made me feel the same

like somehow I was to blame

for the way I dressed

like I'd failed a test."

Tippett's swirling piano pushes the song along like a burn tumbling down a mountainside, Shelagh's voice the sunlight catching the water and sparkling.

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