Judee Sill

Rhino Handmade have recently reissued the two albums that Judee Sill made in the early 1970s – following a lead on the All Music Guide, I decided they looked interesting and ordered them (only just in time, these are limited editions!). The first, “Judee Sill”, arrived today. It is a wonderful record. Subtle, understated (except for an obvious ‘big finale’ parody on the final song “Abracadabra”) arrangements and captivating melodies frame songs rich in religious imagery. Not heavy handed “Christian” music though, Sill’s songs are a blend of the sacred and the profane woven around themes of desire and longing. In these ways, they resemble those of contemporary performer Laura Nyro, but Sill’s music is more folk-baroque and white gospel influenced as opposed to the black gospel and soul underpinnings of Laura Nyro’s early songs. Both approaches work wonderfully in the hands of such talented artists. Judee Sill is one that got away from me at the time, I am glad I found her now. It is so sad that she died so young (35).


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