Meredith Moon “Constellations”

True North Records, 2023

A recognisable pattern of Love & Locations.

Meredith Moon album "Constellations"Meredith Moon has nailed it. Playing claw-hammer Appalachian style banjo, Moon has crafted words and phrases around a classic sound that can reawaken a listener’s own suppressed feelings and memories. Most people have done some travelling, share a loyalty to a particular town and have had their fair share of love and regret. Not many can express it with words and music of such quality.  The album ‘Constellations’ has this young lady baring her soul on several occasions. ‘Starcrossed’ and the title track ‘Constellations’ are emotionally charged while proudly confirming her Canadian identity:  “From Winlaw to the Okanagan fires, Great lovers have their day, And love don’t last forever anyway”

Moon’s heart on sleeve lyrics skip a couple of instrumental tracks, ‘Brokenwing Bird’ and her arrangement of ‘Needlecase Medley’. They are not out of place and allow Moon to demonstrate her banjo playing skills. Moon’s guitar playing isn’t too shabby either. Together on a version of  ‘Soldier’s Joy’ Moon is ably supported by Tony Allen on fiddle. The fiddle enhances many other songs such as  ‘Lighthouse County’ and ‘Your Cards’. The latter begins with some lovely piano and then Allen conjures up what could be a lost theme tune to Deadwood. Meredith Moon must have been mesmerising to see in the cantinas and art spaces she has played in around the world. Indeed, this album is beautifully produced and it does feel Moon is playing and singing in the corner of a cosy, if not hushed bar.

‘Mark Twain’ is an interesting inclusion. Twain was born as Halley’s Comet appeared in the sky and died as it neared earth once again. It is easy to picture Moon on a riverboat sailing down the Mississippi looking up at the night sky and thinking of Sam Clemens : “And though I know we live a century apart, We still drew our words from the same grey moon.”

‘Slow Moving Train’ is a great way to conclude. There’s just the right amount of melancholy to “There was a time when my drinking helped me process what I was thinking, Made the sky more blue, made my hands play, But now the time has come and passed, like nothing good ever lasts, And everyone’s gone away”

There’s a significant amount of publicity in her home country surrounding this release. But Meredith Moon has done her time and has become an incredibly accomplished songwriter and musician in her own right. Quite simply, there’s not a dull moment on this album and these tracks shine bright.


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