Personnel: Eddi Reader (vocals, acoustic guitar); Adam Kirk (acoustic & electric guitar, dobro); Boo Hewerdine (acoustic guitar, tanbura, harmonium, keyboards, glockenspiel, background vocals); Johnny Scott (acoustic guitar, pedal steel guitar); Dylan Bates (violin); Teddy Borowiecki (tanbura, accordion, didgeridoo, harmonium, keyboards, synthesizer); Tim Harries, Simon Edwards (bass); Dawson Salah Miller (drums, udu); Roy Dodds (drums, percussion).
Personnel: Eddi Reader (vocals, guitar); Adam Kirk (acoustic guitar, dobro); Boo Hewerdine (acoustic guitar, tamboura, toy piano, harmonium, glockenspiel, background vocals); John Scott (acoustic guitar); Teddy Borowiecki (tamboura, accordion, keyboard bass); Tim Harries (bass guitar); Roy Dodds (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Roy Dodds.
Recording information: Roy dodds Back Room "Driftwood".
Editor: Boo Hewerdine.
Eddi Reader's voice falls like a soft autumn rain. Despite its cleansing nature, it carries a touch of melancholy for the coming darkness of winter; it bears a hint of sadness and solitude for the one who longs for sunshine and warmth. Simple Soul is a sweet setting for Reader. Although it's not overflowing with catchy pop songs, it's the kind of soothing record you might listen to while making a quiet, candlelight dinner or meandering around the house on a lazy Sunday morn. While Reader's honey voice swirls beautifully around, the pristine acoustic guitar sounds dance with Indian tamboura and harmonium, creating an almost mystical ambience. Again, don't expect to tie on your dancing shoes. This is definitely more of a slipper and robe kind of thing. The main musical and production support comes from Boo Hewerdine, Roy Dodds, and Teddy Borowiecki -- talented fellows one and all. (Hewerdine also gets credit for a big chunk of the songwriting.) As for the songs themselves, "Wolves," "Lucky Penny," "Footsteps Fall," and the title track are all lovely offerings that would fit well on any Reader album, while the slow, bluesy shuffle of "Adam" brings in some smoky dobro and pedal steel guitar for added effect. Simple Soul (or any Reader selection) would do well in a five-disc changer alongside Shawn Colvin's Steady On, k.d. lang's Ingenue, and maybe some early releases from Joni Mitchell and James Taylor. Not bad company. ~ Kelly McCartney
Q (4/01, p.109) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Finds her in pensive mode, applying her resonant vocal to heartfelt songs of intimacy and experience. It's a powerful suite..."
Dirty Linen (8-9/01, p.53) - "...Reader's most accessible album..."
Mojo (Publisher) (4/01, p.114) - "...The kind of delicate, unshowy record it's too easy to overlook....repeatedly captivating."