Two much-loved albums by elusive singer/songwriter, Shelagh McDonald (see my 2005 article about Shelagh, who was missing at the time, for the Independent, here, and my followup nearly ten years later, here), are back. This time, they’ve been dusted down and remastered by Andrew Thompson (who handles much of BGO’s output) for the Talking Elephant label (who’ve done a great deal to revive the Shawn Phillips and Melanie catalogues).
With guests including arranger Robert Kirby and musicians Richard Thompson, Andy Roberts and Keith Christmas, Shelagh McDonald Album and Stargazer are formidable pieces of work. Shelagh ably accompanies herself on piano and guitar and her enigmatic songs – particularly ‘Ophelia’s Song’ and ‘Odyssey’ – have an other-worldly, pristine beauty. Shelagh was part of the first wave of singer/songwriters; they emerged on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 1960s and the early 1970s and have never really been surpassed. Take a closer look and order Stargazer here and Album here.