Mirrors and Windows – Dulcie Taylor
Black Iris Records 2004
There has always been a firm bridge between country and folk music, as
anyone who has listened to Bob Dylan can tell you. Unfortunately, that line
is often crossed by too much of one or the other, or not enough in-between.
Unless you are talking about Dulcie Taylor, a songwriter and
multi-instrumentalist who has developed a sound that is equal parts country,
equal parts folk, and filled with everything in-between.
Mirrors and Windows, Taylor's second CD on Black Iris Records, is a
sparkling trove of delicate melodies, country-inflected folk tales, sultry
blues elaborations and acoustic rock compositions that meander loosely over
the course of the album with a refined, polished glide. Each song bears more
than one of Taylor's fingerprints. She is recognized as the writer or
co-writer of all of the albums 10 tracks, and holds down lead vocals while
decorating many of the tracks with guitar and harmonica.
Recorded at the Signature Sounds studio in Palmer, Massachusetts, Mirrors
Windows features a varied cast of accomplished musicians including
Richard Gates (Suzanne Vega, Richard Thompson), drummer Lorne Entress (Susan
Tedeschi) and guitarist Duke Levine (Mary Chapin Carpenter). With their
multidimensional backing, Taylor's well-crafted compositions soar with
interwoven acoustic instruments, occasionally bolstered by the soaring hum
of pedal steel.
And Taylor shines; whether reveling in the honky-tonk of "Seaboard Train,"
or emanating the warmth of a small-town on "Miracle," she does so with
well-written verse, supple hooks and a full, complimentary sound from her
backing band. But the culminating piece that defines Mirrors and
and Taylor's musical personality – is "Love Like Yours and Mine," a
stripped-down display of her pristine vocals, ornate song structure, and
unfiltered, vividly sweet lyrical approach that soaks through this album.
As a songstress, Dulcie Taylor stands in the country-folk elite. She is a
strong musical force that avoids the clichand overwrought verbiage that
has penetrated much of both genres. Her execution is electric, and her
spirit is audible in each note played and every verse sung, tying together
Mirrors and Windows with a well-balanced ribbon of sound with simple,