A glance across the credits of Yvonne Lyon’s Growing Wild record suggests a couple of things. Firstly, her status as a songwriter and secondly the fun she must have had making the record.
Boo Hewerdine, Beth Nielson Chapman, Stewart Henderson, Julie Lee, Dan Wheeler and Yvonne’s hubby David all have co-writing credits. Add to them Eddi Reader and Eilidh Patterson and you see what I mean.
Any knowledge of these collaborators will also tell you a lot about the record. It is sublime, poetic, spiritual with great melodies, harmonies and meticulous playing.
Lyon has found this unique space for her art. It is without doubt rooted in her Scottishness. With always the hint of a wee Celtic lilt, she reaches beyond. Beth Nielson Chapman, Julie Lee and Dan Wheeler take her to Nashville. It is like she has thrown the blends into the old oak barrel, like some fine whiskey. Her voice is so smooth and warmly inviting.
The treatise here is about ageing. It is an honest approach. The questions and doubts and challenges. The hopes and yearnings for love and belonging. Yvonne’s maturing though is never about drifting. There is intentionality about these songs. Growing Wild has imagination and ambition.
Overall there it an album with an excess of successes and without fillers or failures. I particularly love Winter Ground, the Eddi Readeriness of Compass Hill and the mid 60s Beatly sounds of the title track.
Special mention though of the Stewart Henderson songs. Stewart is a poet. Amazing with words. Yvonne fits them in superbly. We Accumulate the Years has to be one of the best lyrics of growing older ever written. Astounding in profundity and tender in its beauty.