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Corrie Shelley Corrie Shelley
Album: The Leaf And The Cane
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 10

Like an increasing number of artists coming through the office, Corrie Shelley, is an artist that is returning to music after a significant break and now finding that time and the confidence of experience is creating new opportunities.

Corrie released her debut album, "Painted Memories", earlier in the year and her second "The Leaf & The Cane" just out so the Lancashire performer is not slouching when it comes to making up for lost time.

It's not a coincidence that the album title features the two substances that got the British Empire into the slavery game, nor is that the only area of injustice that comes into Corrie Shelley's sights. Whilst the 17th to 19th centuries form the back drop for the album it is not one that follows the bucolic reminiscences of costume drama.

"Whysah", the opening track disposes of the romantic notion of piracy, rather concentrating on the death rates, disease and hanging, whist also drawing to desperate deeds and desperate times. War and affairs of the heart also make their way into this wonderfully performed collection of songs.

For me the standout track is the accapella track "Jonny", a song about a boy who, together with father and older brothers die in a mining disaster, a child sent down the mines because they family needed his small coins to pay the rent and avoid eviction. If this song fails to move you, you must be the sort of person that votes for bedroom tax, takes taxpayers money to restore their own home and actively calls for the repeal of the health and safety "red tape" that stops this sort of thing from happening.

If that makes this sound a bit like a depressing album, it's not, there are also songs of uplifting spirit, triumph over adversity. "The Leaf And The Cane" has been well put together, there is a lot of variety in its ten songs and Corrie Shelley is showing herself to be quite the performer.

Neil King