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If Joni Mitchell and Sandy Denny had a child together, she might sound a lot like Lucy Wise. Wise is an Australian singer/songwriter in the folk tradition and Winter Sun is her solo debut album. She has issued albums as Lucy Wise Trio and Lucy Wise and The B’ Gollies. It has been three years since her last release, and she has used this time to write and craft 12 beautiful songs. There are also two covers on the album.
Producer Nick Higgins, very wisely, utilizes very sparse production for this album. It would have been easy to have it awash with orchestras and string quartets, but instead it is the purity of Wise’s playing and her beautiful voice. She does have help on this one, notably John Flanagan (who provides vocals, guitar, piano and banjo on some of the songs), Isaac Gunnoo (double bass) and Mischa Herman (accordion and piano). Wise’s playing on the ukulele and appalachian dulcimer is inspiring at times, and demonstrates just how effective these instruments can be in terms of adding to the overall mood and tone of the song.