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Allie Fox - Diving for Pearls

What do you get when you mix one part Carly Simon, one part Joni Mitchell and one part Loreena McKennitt? No, it's not an especially interesting cake recipe, it's Allie Fox. Her CD Diving for Pearls is a beautiful piece of work filled with introspective lyrics and gorgeous "wall of sound" harmonies in all the right places. Keyboards, guitar, violin and bass, this is anything but straight Celtic fare...This is a real gem.

Allie Fox & John Rutherford at The Wynd Theatre, Melrose

What better way to spend a drizzly Saturday July evening in Melrose than to wend your way up to the Wynd Theatre to hear some fine, original music? Allie Fox has lived in the area for a few years and teaches voice and guitar. She is also an accomplished performer and writes the kind of songs you find yourself still humming several days later. Fox's guitar style is bluesy and driving and her warm voice comfortably holds the long notes while her fingers do all sorts of clever acrobatics and chords to underpin the melody.

Out of the Blue was a great opener, showing off the complimentary guitar styles and different sounds of Fox and John Rutherford enabling the audience to settle in to enjoy an intimate, informal concert. The Moon Above the Rooftops and Backstreet Girl are now standards in Fox's set and these together with the heart-rending and haunting The Meaning of Love will form the basis of her forthcoming album Diving for Pearls.

Rutherford and Fox come into their own when jamming around on instrumentals with obvious relish and skill.

Allie Fox at the Edinburgh Fringe August 2000

I don't know who said it first....but it is always easier to write more about something you hate than something you truly enjoyed and which struck a chord. This may well turn out to be one of the more laboured reviews that I have written. Allie Fox's debut album Diving for Pearls has been described as breathtaking by the music press and she is appearing at The Tron - this year's Acoustic Underground showcase. This is a rare treat in this small and very sweaty sub-basement. The kitchens are next door and the heat plays havoc with the guitar strings. The guitars in this performance outnumbered the performers 2:1, but at least it meant there was less tuning and more time for music.

Allie is a superb singer/songwriter with a fine line in folky-blues guitar. The songs are layered with beautiful melodies set against warm and heartfelt lyrics, Allie's voice draws you into these superbly constructed words which occasionally get mistaken by your own subconscious for your own memories or imaginations.

This is one songwriter that has the gift of giving everyone something to relate to. Allie writes songs that accommodate a huge range of subjects.... being snowed in for several days (Snowbound) and Joe Louis Blues could definitely go several rounds with Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer."

Go and see Allie Fox at any opportunity you get. Buy her CD, give her lots of money so she can make more of this beautiful music.

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