Raised on the potato fields of Prince Edward Island, Ashley Condon’s songwriting is a personal exploration of her surroundings – the sea, land, trains and even a humble tribute to chamomile tea. The Great Compromise is Condon’s second disc.
A lot of artists the east coast of Canada is churning out lately are turning the heads of industry veterans. Such is the case with Condon. She caught the ear of her songwriting hero, David Francey, who sits in the producer’s chair for this disc.
Francey’s production is audible throughout – Condon is backed by Francey’s touring band, who was also featured on his latest album So Say We All ; Chris Coole (banjo), Mark Westberg (guitar), John Showman (fiddle), and multi-instrumentalist Darren McMullen.
Having lost both her parents by the age of 22, “Betty’s Song”, a touching tribute to her late mother, is definitely the highlight of this album.
This track is powerful, and must be a highlight of her live show: “I wanted the things the other kids had – like a brother, or a sister, or a Dad,” sings Condon. Another gem here is “Going to the Country,” which will no doubt be a favourite sing- along at the festivals Condon is set to play.
The combination of Francey and his band on So Say We All was a perfect match – I’m not sure the same is the case with this production. I found myself drawn more to the band and some of the arrangements more than I did to Condon’s songs. Tracks like “We’ve Got Love” shine bright more so due the fiddle, banjo and bouzouki backing Condon, rather than to the strength of the songs.
Don’t get me wrong, though; This Great Compromise is a solid second effort, which has been nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award.
This Great Compromise is available at iTunes.
Solid second effort bolstered by David Francey's production and touring band.