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The Mellowship The Mellowship
Album: You Belong With Me
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 9

One of the great things I love about running Fatea, is that you are never quite sure what the post is going to bring you, occasionally it turns up a completely unexpected gem and "You Belong To Me" is just such an item.

Some gems shine with shear brilliance, polished to the point of dazzling, but after a while they begin to lose their allure, bright they maybe, but there is nothing left of the spirit of the stone from which they were originally cut. By contrast The Mellowship's "You Belong With Me…" is a rough hewn quartz, still more than capable of catching the light, but unevenly faceted, changing shape and form as it rotates, presenting different views and character.

The Mellowship is the performance space of Maureen, aka Mo, Dewdney, a West Country singer-songwriter and other musicians she happens to be working with at the time, in the case of her debut album fiddle player Cairan Alga and multi-instrumentalist, bass player, Lukas Drinkwater who also took on duties behind the desk.

This is an album of narrative songs, some reflecting historical events, "The Woad - The Last Battle Of Maiden Castle" being one example, others, "Gampa Sam" have a more personal feel, occasionally giving you a sense that some of these songs are more than a little cathartic, but not to the point where you feel voyeuristically intrusive, more that you've had an encounter with a refreshing honesty.

Mo's voice carries the accent of its West Country origins and has an almost timeless quality to it. "Northwest Passage" sounds as though Cecil Sharp could have noted it down on one of his song discovery trips, sat in a country pub, a lie betrayed by the lyrics, but the feel undeniable and totally captivating.

Also totally captivating is the instrumentation, not only for what is played, but also for what is left out. There is a sparseness that allows the words and narrative the space to breathe to be a different song depending on the mood of the listener and the face turned towards you.

"You Belong To Me…" is one of those albums that will hold you for multiple plays right through or just to take a song from as the mood takes you. There are rumours of Mo working with other West Country artists, I'm looking forward to hearing the results, but there is a lot from the Mellowship's first cut to keep me going.

Neil King