Album, Single and EP Reviews



  Live In The Parlour by Christine Santelli and Heather Hardy

Live In The Parlour cover art

Artist: Christine Santelli and Heather Hardy
Title: Live In The Parlour
Catalogue Number: Rapid Records 009
Review Format: Compact Disc
Release Year: 2024

It occurred to me that I had not listened to a live album in quite some time. In fact, it has been some time since I have even seen a new one then, as if to remind me of the benefits of doing it for real, along came Christine Santelli and Heather Hardy with their album “Live In The Parlour.”

I can’t say that I am familiar with either Christine Santelli or Heather Hardy but these thirteen songs contain more than enough evidence to suggest that a trip into their back catalogue – they have been doing their musical thing for many a year now - would be worthwhile. Some might even say that this album is an organic thing as you can’t much nearer the truth than you can with two women, a guitar and a fiddle. Indeed, a combination like that is pretty much all the reason you need to get on that acoustic roots music train and, to their credit, it is no hardship to stay with them right until the last stop.

The subtly feminist songs, mostly by Christine Santelli, stay close to the roots norm yet there is a bluesy affectation – particularly evident in the Bobby Gentry-esque “Blue Silhouette” – to Ms, Santelli’s voice that makes you want to drive a pickup truck down to the crossroads. Ms. Hardy’s fiddle is clearly made of Americana wood and her subtle style complements the songs well.

“Live In The Parlour” sounds natural and the songs seem both uncontrived and infused with the spirit of old time storytellers even if the sentiments behind them are more of today than yesterday. This album may seem a lyrically modernised take on a traditional way of doing things yet, in these days when nobody can tell how real real actually is, it is positively refreshing to listen to it. Live is where it is at.

Best song: “Cadillac Delight”

Verdict: Straight to the point.
Review Date: March 15 2024