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Becky Mills Becky Mills
Album: Tall Tales And Home Truths
Label: Talking Elephant
Tracks: 10
Website: http://www.beckymillsgigs.co.uk

It has been said many times by numerous people, sometimes using slightly different words, that you can judge a person by the company they keep. I believe the same adage can be attributed to music, so whenever I receive an album to review, especially from an artist that I am not that familiar with, the first thing I do is look at the collaborators on the album.

The first name that stood out for me as a collaborator on this new CD was Ashley Hutchings. Ashley's knowledge, reputation and musical skill is second to none so it is hard to imagine that Becky could have worked with anyone better. I was also pleased to see the inclusion of one of my favourite artists, Blair Dunlop, included as a backing musician.

So what about Becky? A crystal-clear voice, a superb guitarist and, most of all, a storyteller of immense talent and imagination. With her roots firmly placed in delivering classy folk music, the songs are based primarily on her love for her family, her hopes and dreams. Some of the lyrics are quite heartrending and the love she has for her family shines through like a beacon.

Becky is the third Yorkshire based female artist that I have reviewed recently and as a fellow inhabitant of this wonderful county, each have made me proud of the music on offer here.

Becky's career has already spanned many years now which belies her still very youthful looks. Previously performing both as a solo artist and as a member of "Waking The Witch" she has in the last couple of years worked and performed extensively with both Ashley Hutchings, mentioned above and Ruth Angell.

"Tall Tales and Home Truths" is Becky's second album following the success of her debut "Dandelion" in 2013. Becky claims that the first album to inspire her was "Blue" by Joni Mitchell which remains to this day probably my favourite female album. The influence of Joni can be witnessed in Becky's clever use of lyrics which always mean something and tell a real story. Her wistful haunting voice is perfect for the stories of her grandparents and days gone by.

Although the CD cover identifies the ten tracks on offer, purchasers of the CD, not the download, will have the bonus of a rather surprising additional track.

Overall, this is a sublime mix of traditional and modern folk music combining superb musicianship, a voice that will give you shivers at times and, most of all, lyrics to make you think and listen! It will most certainly appeal to lovers of this genre of music and others that just love a story about real people and their lives.

Rory Stanbridge