Boatman's White Dog
Debbie Cassell grew up in Shropshire, England, & was singing before she could speak. She learned piano, then guitar & began writing songs before she entered her teens. A couple of friends invited her to sing with them, & together they played at various local folk clubs. Since then she has performed all over the UK & Europe. To date she has released two solo albums - 'Angel in Labour' in 1995 & 'The Boatman's White Dog in 2007. Debbie & her partner Martin Ansell have also released two albums as the duo 'Woman Wants Tall Man' Debbie has played alongside many artists including John Martyn, Ian Matthews, Vikki Clayton, & Sally Barker, who has performed some of her songs, & with whom she sometimes co-writes; and she appeared as part of the 'Women on Stage' tour with Sara K, Kerstin Blodig & Linde Nijland. Other projects include 'Cedusa', with writer/producer Rod Bowkett, & 'Invisible They'. 'A fine English songstress, with a rare & haunting voice' [Time Out, London] __ 'One of the finest songwriters I've ever heard, topped with a voice to die for.' [Peter Doggett, Record Collector Magazine] __ 'A fresh, impressive debut by an English singer-songwriter who cites a debt to Joni Mitchell and certainly bears comparison for the cool, jazz-inflected sweetness of her music and the restless, bittersweet sensitivity of her lyrics.' [Mojo Magazine] ___ 'The best singer songwriters capture their world with such clarity that the particular becomes the universal. This cunningly titled debut from Shropshire-born Debbie Cassell achieves that feat with self-assurance; moments of loss, self-doubt and exhileration are traced with a precision that frames private feeling against a recognisable English landscape. There are echoes of the folk-jazz of John Martyn or Bridget St. John in Cassell's unhurried phrasing and something of Eddi Reader in the way she'll linger on a note but there's a melodic flair that is her own. The arrangements are uncluttered and often gently swinging, the mood is mostly poignant, and bedsitter romance looms large but Cassell will also snap out of her own self-absorption with, say, the gorgeous chorus of Edge Of The World or her dismissal of little England, Back In My Home Town. There's nothing particularly contemporary here but the songs, the voice and the manner in which Cassell tracks emotions to their source is rare in any era.' **** [Mark Cooper, Q Magazine] ___ 'Shropshire's own DEBBIE CASSELL fares better on the depth front. Her 'Angel in Labour' not only shows off her exceptionally clear and well-rounded voice, reminiscent of Joni Mitchell with a touch of Tracey Thorn, but it also acts as a great showcase for her songwriting skills. Cassell can swing from a track like 'That's What Every Woman Wants' which contrives very successfully to sound like a Nina Simone standard, through the more bluesy feel of 'Every Day 'Bout This Time', to the stand-out song on the album, 'Shadowman'. This is a haunting, poignant portrait of nostalgia that echoes for ages after you've finished playing the album.' [Tower Records Top Magazine] ____.