Fhj 201203
Maid on the Shore CD Review by Brook Boddie
Folk Harp Journal, Spring 2012

 

     Molly Bauckham is a Celtic harpist and singer from Seattle, WA. Maid on the Shore is her first recording and includes traditional pieces, her own setting of Shakespeare's "Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind," and an original composition, "The Wiser Maid." Molly provides her own accompaniment on some tracks and is joined by guitarist John Peekstok, percussionist Scott Mercado, and flutist Sarah Bost on several of the tracks. Richard Hill provides nice background vocals on "The Shepherd's Wife."
     Molly has chosen music in a variety of styles to keep the listener's interest throughout the recordings. Most of the tracks include vocals, and her voice could be described as young, clear, and earthy--almost Loreena McKennitt-ish (those familiar with McKennitt will know exactly what I mean). Even so, I must admit, that some of my favorite tracks are those without vocals. Molly's playing is smooth, flowing, and heart-felt. Her skill as a harpist is best heard on her arrangement of O'Carolan's "Si Bheag, Si Mhor." I've heard many renditions of this piece over the years, and Molly's is one of my favorites. Her tempo is moderate, and she plays her Dusty Strings harp beautifully. This is not to discount her talents as a singer. Her own setting of "Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind" is a perfect pairing of Molly's unpretentious voice with beautiful harp accompaniment that is never busy or overdone. I found myself hitting the repeat button several times at the end of this track, in fact. It is my favorite on the CD.
     The next to last selection is entitled "Sheba's Bellybutton." I was intrigued by the title, so headed straight for this track next. Molly teams up with her flutist and percussionist to provide a fun, rhythmical piece that, based on the title as well as style, would make any belly dancer proud!
     The CD has a beautiful cover. It is obvious based on Molly's expression of gratitude to those who assisted with this recording that Molly is well-loved and respected in the Seattle area. Her CD is available through her website (www.harpmolly.com) or at www.amazon.com, CDBaby, and iTunes. I hope this will be the first of many albums from Molly Bauckham.


Re-published with permission from The Folk Harp Journal, the official publication of The International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen.