Dear Companion

DC 340LP DC 340LP

2024 repress. "There was a time when traditional music was just folk -- a time when folk wasn't hyphened up with words like psych and rock and pop. It was just there on its lonesome, like a lone girl and guitar. That's what you hear on Meg Baird's Dear Companion. Her lyrical singing and songwriting imbues the sound of the psych-folk group Espers, but this is Meg's solo debut. Traditional songs are of such great age that it is not known where they began. They are lost to time, for a world to pick on and interpret. With songs like 'The Cruelty of Barbary Allen,' 'Willie O' Winsbury,' and the title track, Meg interprets the old airs with voice and fingerstyle picking. Mixing traditional songs with her original compositions lends the album its variety. She further mixes it up by reaching for some deep cuts from a few records most listeners haven't yet heard. Sure, there's a Jimmy Webb song -- but there's Meg to thank for all future listens to Fraser & DeBolt (whose delightful 'The Waltze Of the Tennis Players' is covered) and Chris Thompson. And her cover of The New Riders of the Purple Sage song 'All I Ever Wanted' will make your heart explode in a way the NRPS version never did -- gently. Dear Companion has such a completion that just as the album is finishing and your mind is thinking 'Great record, I wish she'd sing one a cappella,' the moment comes when Meg does just that, as if a mind were being read somewhere. Whether you're a listener of hyphenated folk music or not, Dear Companion is a musical companion that will show you a bit of the traditional sandstone that folk is built upon and the simultaneous empathy and entertainment it can provide."