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Megan Henwood - Making Waves

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 23 / 7 / 2011

Megan Henwood - Making Waves
Label: Dharma Records
Format: CD


Outstanding and boundary-breaking debut album from 22 year old BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards winner, Megan Henwood

Being the winner, along with her brother Joe, of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards in 2009 certainly put Megan Henwood on the map. While Megan’s music is firmly rooted in the folk field, one just hopes that not too many will be put off by that association. When it comes to those two words, Folk Music, many people still have blinkers on and are missing out on some excellent music. Megan’s take on folk isn’t what many would expect anyway. Her pop sensibilities shine through on most of the eleven songs on ‘Making Waves’ which is the debut album from this twenty-two year old. Musically as well Megan covers so much more than what is widely regarded as folk music on this collection. For those of us who have lived through the various guises of folk music through the years, it’s not only refreshing to hear someone so young keeping the flag flying but also adding their own twist to this age-old music to make it appeal to a whole new generation. It’s not easy to put a finger on just one thing that makes Megan Henwood stand out from the crowd. She has the songs, that’s for sure. All eleven songs on ‘Making Waves’ are Henwood originals and all have strong melodies that capture the listener instantly. Vocally she has a distinctive voice that’s at once appealing but belies Megan’s young years. She’s believable too and her lyrics are always evocative. Then there’s the backing musicians that have lent a hand to the overall sound captured on ‘Making Waves’; Steeleye Span’s Peter Knight plays violin, 60s legend Joe Brown who just keeps getting more exciting as the years fly by adds ukulele to one song; his daughter Sam does the same and also lends her remarkable vocals to the opening song, ‘Hope On The Horizon’; Mollie Marriott, daughter of Steve, also adds backing vocals to a handful of songs, and Barrie Barlow, once of Jethro Tull, helps out with drums and percussion as well as co-producing some tracks. Maybe it’s a combination of all these things that make ‘Making Waves’ such a compelling listen. But then there’s ‘Free And Focused’ on which Megan takes all vocals and instruments except for Jon Collins' acoustic guitar which goes some way to show that even shorn of her famous friends contributions Megan’s songs and vocals can still draw you in. It’s on this particular song that you realize just how attractive and believable Megan’s vocals are. Without a doubt, and not just in the folk field, Megan is one of the best British female singers that have emerged in the last five years. The music on ‘Making Waves’ is what it is all about; sounds that although having their roots firmly planted in a certain genre can easily appeal to a much broader audience simply because the songs and the singer are just so good. It’s music that breaks down barriers. Megan Henwood has something to say through her music, and through her festival appearances has already built up quite a following. ‘Making Waves’ will add to those already smitten by this talented young singer / songwriter. Megan could not have come up with a stronger set of songs for her debut. and we should support talent like this to make sure that we hear more from her in the future. A stunning debut then from not only an outstanding songwriter but one who has a voice worth going out of your way to hear.

Track Listing:-
1 Hope On The Horizon
2 Making Waves
3 White Lies
4 Happy Healthy Boy
5 Counting The Birds
6 What Elliott Said
7 Shape And Colour
8 The Waiting Game
9 Free And Focused
10 Shining Stranger
11 The Honest Song

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Interview (2011)
Megan Henwood - Interview
Spencer Robertshaw speaks to BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner Megan Henwood about her influences and 'Making Waves', her just released debut album

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