Let the lark of English folk take the listener down to Elysian fields – live and elevated.
More often than not, Judy Dyble‘s songs inhabit some other dimension, slightly removed from our reality, a place where elegy has taken over from glee that, nevertheless, is always near and its glimpses lace her glimmering stories – never more so than on-stage. Over the last decade, Dyble fully regained the confidence required to face the public, and Judy’s first live album showed the edge she’s able to evoke, but “Weaving Of A Silver Magic” – a document of her 2016 performance at St. Barnabas Church in Cambridge – marries concert sharpness to the stained-glass otherworldliness of her studio output. Surely, one can attribute such clarity to THE AD HOC STRINGS, arranged by Phil Thoms, which complement THE BAND OF PERFECT STRANGERS, directed by Judy’s usual accomplice Alistair Murphy who produced the recording, only this would mean diminishing the singer’s own spell-casting powers.
While there are no less than six pieces from the then-latest "Flow And Change" – with “The Sisterhood Of Ruralists” spanning eleven mesmerizing minutes of which none is wasted on unemotional fluff – Dyble appears bold enough to feed fresh pieces to the appreciative audience: the piano-led reminiscence “Faded Elvis” and the wondrously orchestrated waltz “See What Your Words” from the to-be-conceived “Earth Is Sleeping” album, to have everyone transfixed. Yet it’s the cinematic opener “Driftaway” that cello accents and violins’ lull lift to celestial spheres to let Judy’s crystalline voice flutter and get fleshed out in a short time, before the guitar-caressed “Crowbaby” takes flight and sheds electric light on the now-robust vocals. Still, the bittersweet “Silence” and the tremulous “Wintersong” might be the best embodiment of the veteran’s modus operandi – warm, if aloof – in front of the crowd.
That’s why her ethereal rendition of “I Talk To The Wind” – Judy was the first to deliver it, mind, so she’s perfectly in her right to add a layer of raga to the classic – is so fitting a finale to a Dyble concert, whereas the chamber swirl of “Featherdancing” serves as a vehicle for leading the listener towards the aforementioned dewy-eyed dimension. A rare treat, this album must become a treasure.